Roboticist, educator, entrepreneur, role model — Ayanna Howard, Ph.D., is the first woman to lead The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Engineering. Previously, Dr. Howard served as chair of the School of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, teaching machine learning and robotics. Throughout her career, her belief that “every engineer has the responsibility to make the world a better place” has run like a golden thread.
She holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering with a minor in computer science. She spent 13 years in robotics research and development at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and 16 years at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In 2013, Dr. Howard co-founded Zyrobotics, a Georgia Tech spinoff, which uses machine learning and robots to make educational toys for children with special needs.
Among her many accolades is a spot on Forbes magazine’s America’s Top 50 Women in Tech. Dr. Howard is also a tenured professor in OSU’s department of electrical and computer engineering, with a joint appointment in computer science and engineering.
Throughout her career, Dr. Howard has been active in helping to diversify the engineering profession for women, underrepresented minorities, and individuals with disabilities.
This article first appeared in Society of Women Engineers Magazine.