Prof. Maja Mataric´ is Chan Soon-Shiong Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics at the University of Southern California (USC), founding director of the USC Robotics and Autonomous Systems Center, and Interim Vice President of Research. She received a PhD and MS in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence MIT, and BS in Computer Science from the University of Kansas. She is a Fellow of the AAAS, IEEE, AAAI, and ACM, the Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision Award for Innovation, the Okawa Foundation Award, NSF Career Award, MIT TR35 Innovation Award, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award, and the USC Remarkable Woman Award, among others. Prof. Mataric´ is the author of the popular textbook "The Robotics Primer" and has published extensively (h-index 100; 39,594 citations as of 1/30/21). She has served on a number of advisory boards, including the National Science Foundation CISE Division, the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) Council, Willow Garage, and Evolution Robotics.
Prof. Mataric’ has made a series of pioneering contributions to the field of robotics. Her early work was in robot navigation and mapping; she then made contributions to multi-robot coordination and swarm control. Next, she did some of the earliest work in robot learning from demonstration. She is now best known for founding the field of socially assistive robotics, where her research is developing human-robot interaction algorithms and methods for supporting behavior change in convalescence, rehabilitation, training, and education. Her research has developed robot-assisted therapies for children with autism spectrum disorders, stroke and traumatic brain injury survivors, and individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, and has deployed robots in complex environments including homes, nursing homes, hospitals, and classrooms for weeks and months at a time, collecting unprecedented datasets that enabled novel models and personalization strategies . She is also co-founder of Embodied, Inc. where she served as chief science officer in 2016-2018; in May 2020 Embodied launched Moxie, an in-home socially assistive robot for children.
Prof. Mataric´ is recognized nationally for the scale and impact of her mentoring and K-12 STEM outreach activities. She received the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics & Engineering Mentoring in 2011 from President Obama, and the USC Mellon Mentoring Award and Provost’s Mentoring Award. She is the lead of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering K-12 STEM Center, and has raised federal, corporate, and foundation support for and developed free open-source curricular materials for elementary, middle school, and high school robotics courses, K-12 teacher development programs, K-12 STEM equity and inclusion programs, and after-school robotics programs, and competitions training, all aiming to engage student interests in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics.
Prof. Mataric´’s university leadership experience includes serving as the USC Interim Vice President of Research (2020-present), USC Viterbi School of Engineering Vice Dean of Research (2006-2019), and the elected President of the USC faculty and the Academic Senate (2006-2007).
Prof. Mataric´ and her work have been featured in The New Yorker, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Popular Science, National Geographic, LA Times, Scientific American, the BBC News, LA Times, and in the documentary movie “Me & Isaac Newton”, among others.
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Robots That Care: Socially Assistive Robotics and the Future of Work and Care
The nexus of advances in robotics, NLU, and machine learning has created opportunities for personalized robots. The current pandemic has both caused and exposed unprecedented levels of...
- Robots That Care: Socially Assistive Robotics for EldercareThe nexus of advances in robotics, NLU, and machine learning has created opportunities for personalized robots for the various domains of eldercare: aging in place, assisted living, and...
- Socially Assistive Robotics Right Now: Personalized Embodied Systems for In-Home Support of Health, Wellness, Education, and TrainingThe nexus of advances in robotics, natural language processing, and machine learning has created opportunities for personalized robots in a variety of domains of daily life. The current pandemic...
- Socially Assistive Robotics as a Path to Accessible Personalized Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Therapy SupportThe last decade has seen a convergence of technologies that make it possible for users to interact with intelligent agents in therapeutic settings. Concurrently, much research has been done...
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- Robots That Care: Socially Assistive Robotics for Eldercare