Ayanna HowardAyanna Howard

Grad Cohort

Ayanna Howard, Ph.D. is the Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Chair in Bioengineering in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She received her B.S. in Engineering from Brown University, her M.S.E.E. from the University of Southern California, and her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California. Her area of research is centered around the concept of humanized intelligence, the process of embedding human cognitive capability into the control path of autonomous systems. This work, which addresses issues of intelligent control as well as aspects of human-robot interaction in real-world environments, has resulted in over 200 peer-reviewed publications in a number of projects – from scientific rover navigation in glacier environments to therapy robots for the home. 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 named a MIT Technology Review top young innovator, recognized as NSBE Educator of the Year, and receiving the Georgia-Tech Outstanding Interdisciplinary Activities Award. In 2013, she also founded Zyrobotics, which is currently licensing technology derived from her research and has released their first suite of therapy and educational products for children with special needs. From 1993-2005, Dr. Howard was at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. Following this, she joined Georgia Tech in July 2005 and founded the Human-Automation Systems Lab. She has also served a term as the Associate Director of Research for the Georgia Tech Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines and a term as Chair of the multidisciplinary Robotics Ph.D. program at Georgia Tech.