2019 TEF Speakers

Dr. Ayanna Howard

Dr. Ayanna Howard is the Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Professor and Chair of the School of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing. She is also the Director of the Human-Automation Systems Lab (HumAnS) at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, and is the Co-founder and CTO at Zyrobotics.

Ayanna’s career focus is on intelligent technologies that must adapt to and function within a human-centered world. Her work, which encompasses advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), assistive technologies, and robotics, has resulted in over 250 peer-reviewed publications in a number of projects — from healthcare robots in the home to AI-powered STEM apps for children with diverse learning needs. To date, her unique accomplishments have been highlighted through a number of awards and articles, including highlights in USA Today, Upscale, and TIME Magazine, as well as being recognized as one of the 23 most powerful women engineers in the world by Business Insider and one of the Top 50 U.S. Women in Tech by Forbes. In 2013, she also founded Zyrobotics, which is currently licensing technology derived from her research and has released their first suite of STEM educational products to engage children of all abilities.

Prior to Georgia Tech, Ayanna was a Senior Robotics Researcher and Deputy Manager in the Office of the Chief Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She has also served as the Associate Director of Research for the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Chair of the Robotics Ph.D. program, and the Associate Chair for Faculty Development in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech.