‘Robotics legend’ shares insight on coding and AI

  • Fly to me: this drone photo shows Elena Menendez-Sanchez, of Y11, waiting to catch the drone in her hand that Dr Howard was directing from her computer (Photograph supplied)

    Fly to me: this drone photo shows Elena Menendez-Sanchez, of Y11, waiting to catch the drone in her hand that Dr Howard was directing from her computer (Photograph supplied)

  • Future worlds: Dr Ayanna Howard from Georgia Institute of Technology gives a presentation to BHS students (Photograph supplied)

    Future worlds: Dr Ayanna Howard from Georgia Institute of Technology gives a presentation to BHS students (Photograph supplied)


Secondary students had an unbelievable opportunity with a special assembly by Dr Ayanna Howard from the Georgia Institute of Technology, who was on island to speak at TEDx Bermuda.

Given the focus at BHS on Steam learning, the school was especially excited to welcome Dr Howard to talk to the students about her career and how she has become a leader in her field.

Dr Howard has been described as “a robotics legend” by business magazine Forbes as well as being recognised as one of the 23 most powerful women engineers in the world by Business Insider.

She received her Bachelor of Science in engineering from Brown University, and her master’s and PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California.

Prior to her role as the Linda J. and Mark C. Smith professor and chairwoman of the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, she spent ten years working at Nasa as a senior robotics researcher at their Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Despite her impressive résumé and high-level work in robotics and artificial intelligence, Dr Howard had a remarkably relatable manner with the students. In a short amount of time, she was able to totally remove the “scary stigma” attached to coding and robotics, and show the girls the fun side to what she does which involved dancing robots, a fun coding game and also a drone.

She also told them about some of the groundbreaking work she is doing with AI in robots (who have their own emotions!), therapy for children and wearable technology for infants. The girls were enthralled by Dr Howard and many stayed afterwards to speak to her, some asking for autographs.

At BHS we are passionate about giving our students the opportunities to see and hear from a broad range of successful and inspirational women, and we thank Dr Howard for taking time out of her schedule to speak with us.

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Published Oct 18, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 17, 2018 at 7:34 pm)

‘Robotics legend’ shares insight on coding and AI

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