Ayanna Howard has been named as the Motorola Foundation Professor, effective August 15. She is a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech.
Dr. Howard started working at Georgia Tech in 2005, where she serves as the director of Human-Automation Systems Lab in ECE and as the advisor of eight Ph.D. students and two M.S. thesis students. In addition, Dr. Howard serves as the chair of the Institute's multidisciplinary robotics Ph.D. program.
Her area of research is centered around the concept of humanized intelligence, the process of embedding human cognitive ability into the control path of autonomous systems. Dr. Howard's work has resulted in over 100 peer-reviewed publications about projects ranging from scientific rover navigation in glacier environments to assistive robots for the home. Some new research directions include robotic applications for child therapy and rehabilitation, tele-presence for persons with visual impairments, haptic and wearable device interfaces, behavior modeling for diagnosis and intervention, and medical and health care mobile apps.
To date, Dr. Howard's work has been highlighted through a number of awards, articles, and televised interviews and programs, including USA Today, TIME Magazine, CNN, and American Public Television. Her recent awards include the 2008 Georgia Tech Faculty Woman of Distinction Award, the 2008 ECE Outreach Award, and the 2009 Janice A. Lumpkin Educator of the Year Award, given by the National Society of Black Engineers.