ACM named Ayanna Howard, dean of the Ohio State University College of Engineering, its 2021-2022 ACM Athena Lecturer for her contributions to the development of accessible human-robotic systems and artificial intelligence (AI), and for boosting participation in computing.
Howard proposed some of the first concepts for simulating deformable objects via physical modeling, to enable robust robot grasping; she also introduced the modeling of environmental uncertainty through fuzzy logic, furthering the state of the art in field robotics.
Howard also has spearheaded modeling trust among humans, robots, and AI systems, including conversational agents, emergency response situations, autonomous navigation, child-robot interaction, and use of lethal force.
ACM president Gabriele Kotsis said, "Both as an entrepreneur and mentor, Ayanna Howard has worked to increase the participation of women and underrepresented groups in computing."
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