The Bionic Woman of Educational Technology

11/15/2017 02:16 pm ET
Hear more from Dr. Ayanna Howard and other innovative analysts, thought leaders, and educators at the 2018 Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC), January 23-26 in Orlando, Florida. Learn more here.

Dr. Ayanna Howard, Professor and Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Endowed Chair in Bioengineering at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology sat down to discuss her early passions for science, technology, and math. Dr. Howard shares the importance of realizing early in life that real learning comes from trying, failing and then trying again. Sustained growth comes from accepting the vulnerability in not knowing the answers. Stretching learning in middle school and high school can better prepare students for the increased pressures of higher education.

Growing up, Dr. Howard was excellent at math. In middle school at the age of 12, she found a love of design and began building and tinkering with simple engines and machines. She became a huge science fiction fan and decided at an early age that she would develop a bionic woman after being inspired by the television show of the same name. She was unaware at that young age that the technology needed was only the figment of a writer’s imagination and had yet to be invented, but that didn’t stop her from mapping her path.

She worked for NASA for 12 years and then entered the academic world as a professor and researcher, building her expertise in robotics and engineering the entire way. In 2013, Dr. Howard founded Zyrobotics, LLC specializing in mobile therapy and educational products for children with special needs.

Her published research, currently numbering over 200 peer-reviewed publications, has been widely circulated in international journals and conference publications. She has over 20 years of R&D experience. Dr. Howard continues to produce novel research and ideas focused on applications ranging from assistive robots in the home to therapy gaming apps and remote robotic exploration of extreme environments.

About Dr. Ayanna Howard

Dr. Ayanna Howard is an educator, researcher, and innovator. Her academic career is highlighted by her focus on technology development for intelligent agents that must interact with and in a human-centered world, as well as on the education and mentoring of students in the engineering and computing fields. She currently has 200 peer-reviewed publications in international journals and conference proceedings. Dr. Howard has over 20 years of R&D experience covering a number of projects that have been supported by various agencies including: National Science Foundation, Procter and Gamble, NASA, ExxonMobil, Intel, and the Grammy Foundation.

Dr. Howard is currently Professor and Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Endowed Chair in Bioengineering in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She also holds the position of Associate Chair for Faculty Development in ECE and Director of the Human-Automation Systems Lab (HumAnS).

She founded Zyrobotics, LLC in 2013 which has released their first suite of mobile therapy and educational products for children with special and differing needs. In 2015, she founded and now directs the $3M traineeship initiative in healthcare robotics and functions as the lead investigator on the NSF undergraduate summer research program in robotics. She received her B.S. from Brown University, her M.S.E.E. from the University of Southern California, her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California, and her M.B.A. from Claremont University, Drucker School of Management.

Follow Ayanna Howard at Georgia Tech ECE Twitter

Note: Dr. Howard will be delivering the closing keynote address at the 2018 Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC)

Further Reading:

Additional Reading:

Education conferences for technology and learning

Leading the charge for more STEM educators

Thought leaders making a difference in education

About Rod Berger, PsyD.

Dr. Rod Berger is President and CEO of MindRocket Media Group. Berger is a global education media personality and strategic influencer featured in The Huffington Post, Scholastic, AmericanEdTV, edCircuit, EdTechReview India and Forbes.

Audiences have enjoyed education interviews with the likes of Sir Ken Robinson, Arne Duncan, Randi Weingarten, Sal Khan along with leading edtech investors, award-winning educators, and state and federal education leaders. Berger’s latest project boasts a collaboration with AmericanEdTV and CBS’s Jack Ford.

Follow Dr. Rod Berger on Twitter.

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