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Dr. Ayanna Howard’s childhood hero was the Bionic Woman. Now, she is mentoring and inspiring young girls and women in STEM and other disciplines, proving no career or vision is out of reach and the sky is no longer the limit.

From her management at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to her current role as the chair of the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech, Howard realized her own dreams by creating groundbreaking transformative technologies. With Zyrobotics, the education technology company she co-founded, Howard and her team have completely reimagined how children, particularly those with disabilities, communicate, learn and thrive.

Behind the technology she designs for education (see her TED-Ed talk, Make Robots Smarter), Dr. Howard is addressing societal issues through her artificial intelligence algorithms. However unintentional, much of today’s technology – from our iPhones to Google’s search engine – is designed with biases built in. Howard has taken this as an opportunity to develop AI that factors in demographic differences, such as race and gender, and language variances as exhibited through accents, to ensure technology responds to users equally.

“It’s not just Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. It’s Ada Lovelace and Ayanna Howard. We want to show women in tech so girls and boys can see that women have always been [in the tech industry].” 

– Corinne Roller, Girls Who Code


Dr. Howard’s commitment to mentoring tomorrow’s scientists is unwavering – in 2001 she launched a technology mentoring program for at-risk girls. Most recently she won a Google exploreCSR grant that will further enable her to support and guide young women scientists toward realizing their own dreams to change the world through technology.

The education landscape has changed. Contact us to learn how Dr. Ayanna Howard can prepare your students, faculty and other educational stakeholders for the future.

Back to School: STEM Education Gets a Facelift was last modified: October 14th, 2022 by Danny Stern