Dr. Ayanna Howard is an innovator, entrepreneur, leader and international expert in robotics, human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence.
Since 2005, she has served the Georgia Institute of Technology in several professional and academic roles, and currently is the Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Professor and Chair of the School of Interactive Computing. In tandem, Dr. Howard is also the Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Zyrobotics, a technology startup introduced in 2013 that designs AI-powered STEM tools for early childhood education.
Prior to entering the world of academics, Dr. Howard spent 12 years with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 1993 to 2005, where she ultimately served as Senior Robotics Researcher and Deputy Manager in the Office of the Chief Scientist. In addition to NASA, Dr. Howard’s research has been supported by organizations such as National Science Foundation, Intel, Grammy Foundation, Proctor and Gamble, Exxon-Mobil, Microsoft and Google.
Dr. Howard holds a degree from Brown University, a M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California, as well as an M.B.A. from the Drucker Graduate School of Management. She has sat on the advisory boards of numerous robotics and AI-based organizations, current examples including the CRA Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W), the Georgia State Workforce Development Board and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).