Mar 3, 2016 | Atlanta, GA
Ayanna Howard has been selected as the 2016 recipient of the A. Nico Habermann Award, given by the Computing Research Association (CRA). She will be presented with this honor during the CRA Conference to be held July 17-19 in Snowbird, Utah.
Howard was chosen for this award for her sustained commitment to increasing diversity, combined with her distinction in robotics research. She has a long track record of improving access to research for women and underrepresented minorities, as well as students with disabilities.
Dating back to her work at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the late 1990s, Howard ran a mentoring program for undergraduate women, and continuing today, she works on increasing minority participation at the graduate, undergraduate, and high school levels. She has provided research opportunities to dozens of undergraduates, of whom 75 percent are underrepresented minorities and/or women.
Howard has been on the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty since 2005, where she currently holds the Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Chair and leads the Human-Automation Systems Laboratory. She also heads up a multidisciplinary team from Georgia Tech and Emory University that will create new bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs and concentrations in healthcare robotics – the first degree programs in this area in the United States.
In the last year, Howard was recognized as one of the 23 most powerful women engineers in the world by Business Insider and was named to The Root 2015, a list of 100 African-Americans responsible for the year’s most significant moments, movements, and ideas.