Events and Programs
Science Unscripted: Conversations with AI ExpertsJoin us for two evenings of dialogue with the best and brightest in AI
The NSTMFOctober 02, 2019
About the Speakers
Day 1: Code-ifying AI
Dr. José-Marie Griffiths is president of Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota. President Griffiths has spent her career in research, teaching, public service, corporate leadership, economic development, and higher education administration. She has served in presidential appointments to the National Science Board, the U.S. President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, and the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information. She has recently been appointed a member of the newly-formed National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, part of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for 2019. She has led projects for over 28 U.S. federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation and NASA, over 20 major corporations such as AT&T Bell Laboratories and IBM, in over 35 countries, and worked with seven major international organizations, including NATO and the United Nations. She has received over 20 significant awards in science, technology, teaching and the advancement of women in these fields.
Rosario Robinson - Moderator
Day 2: Decoding Bias in AI
Dr. James Foulds (Jimmy) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Systems at UMBC. His work aims to promote the practice of probabilistic modeling for computational social science, and to improve AI's role in society regarding privacy and fairness. He earned his Ph.D. in computer science at the University of California, Irvine, and was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Santa Cruz, followed by the University of California, San Diego. His master's and bachelor's degrees were earned with first class honours at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, where he also contributed to the Weka data mining system.
Dr. Loretta H. Cheeks is an Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) expert, data science research consultant, and CEO of Strong TIES. During her tenure, she has helped organizations gain dynamic data insights serving enterprises, governments, and nonprofits. Dr. Cheeks is on a mission to create a better world with technology. Before earning a Ph.D. in Computer Science at Arizona State University, the STEAM advocate was developing, deploying and leading various teams within the communications, avionics, instrumentation & control and chemical industries for Fortune 500 corporations. She is the first to identify a computational approach for the discovery of news frames in unstructured text (e.g., online news articles). She has demonstrated a unique ability to integrate communication theory and computer science methods to inform the fields of machine learning, psychology, and mass communication. But this Doctor of Philosophy isn’t just paving the way for up-and-coming engineers, Dr. Cheeks is also committed to improving higher education for underserved and underrepresented communities to follow in her scientific footsteps. To do that, Dr. Cheeks created “Strong TIES,” a non-profit. She is listed among 10 Incredible Black Women in STEM, featured guest on Karen Hunter Show, featured by Verizon on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, recognized as a Change Maker at the White House, and NASA Datanauts. She regularly appears among thought leaders in conferences, peer-review publications, workshops, and speaking engagements in the world. Dr. Cheeks holds a Bachelor and Master of Science degree in Computer Science, Master in Technology Management, and Ph.D. in Computer Science.
Emmanuel Johnson is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow pursuing a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Southern California. His research focuses on building autonomous systems for teaching soft skills, specifically negotiation. His work has been published in many of the leading Artificial Intelligence conferences and journals. Emmanuel is also the co-founder of Routine Solution, a software development company that builds enterprise software for startups and small businesses across multiple industries. Emmanuel holds a Masters in Robotics from the University of Birmingham in England and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from North Carolina A&T where he graduated summa cum laude. Emmanuel has been recognized by various organizations for his excellence in the sciences as well as his leadership. Some of his awards include the 2009 Carter G. Woodson National Recognition Symposium Man of the Year Award, The Association of North Carolina Alpha Men College Brother with the Highest GPA Award, North Carolina A&T Outstanding Engineering Student Award, The New Brunswick Education Foundation Spirit Award, and the first Fulbright Fellowship awarded to a North Carolina A&T student. . He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc, the National Society of Black Engineers, the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, and the Association for Computing Machinery.
Deborah Kariuki - Moderator
Deborah K. Kariuki is a current computer science Education faculty at UMBC. Deborah is an Evangelist & Visionary of Computer Science Education committed to an Equitable Education for All by increasing Computer Science Education from K-26. Because every student in America should know and understand how to write/read code. Having good knowledge of Computational thinking is a key requirement for understanding our global technological world that we are living in today. Deborah has extensive experience as a software engineer, and an exceptional computer science educator. She has received many awards as a programmer and computer science educator. The awards that values most are those of making an impact on the next generation of women in computing. At her current dream job, Deborah is tasked to create a new Master of Computer Science Education at UMBC to prepare educators who are going to teach the next generation of computer scientists.
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