The third week of our Black History Month Celebration at Einstein School showcases African Americans in Robotics and Technology. These innovators, pioneers, and leaders have had a profound impact on Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, and technology. Despite facing unimaginable challenges, their perseverance and contributions are at the forefront of the development of new technologies that have improved our lives in more ways than we can imagine, often taken for granted.
Dr. Ayanna Howard was inspired by The Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, and all things Sci-Fi as a little girl. Renowned for creating robots to study the impact of global warming on the Antarctic ice shelves, she is an expert in Artificial Intelligence and worked for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, where she received NASA’s Honor Award for Safe Robotic Navigation Task. Today, Dr. Ayanna Howard is a respected roboticist and a Motorola Foundation Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech’s Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines.
Computer scientist and engineer Dr. Mark Dean worked for over 30 years at IBM. He was a key pioneer in the invention of the first IBM PCs and their capacity to interface with other devices. His efforts also led to the development of computer accessories like disk drives, monitors, and printers, which opened computing to everyone. Dr. Dean led the team that developed the first gigahertz processor in 1999 and is now a professor at the University of Tennessee.
Due to his contributions to technology, programmer Roy Clay, Sr. is frequently referred to as the Godfather of Silicon Valley. Through the creation of the HP 2116A minicomputer in 1966, his work helped shape technology. He also started several initiatives to support and inspire minorities to pursue careers in science and technology.
These leaders have been, and continue to be, essential to the advancement of technology and many other necessary contributions to furthering the advancement of society.