IEEE RAS Women in Robotics Panel Discussion

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1 December 2020 at 1:00 pm EST (18:00 GMT) via Webex.

Educators everywhere are reexamining and reinventing their teaching approach to meet the challenges of delivering a high-quality education in this unprecedented year. Many are revisiting established best practices while others are looking to new ways of reaching students. In robotics education, we are facing many difficult questions: How can we best engage students in robotics material in the current teaching environment? How can we overcome perceived limitations when teaching robotics content online, especially when hardware is involved? Where should robotics education research focus to address these issues head on?

To facilitate a conversation around these important questions, the IEEE Women in Engineering - Robotics and Automation Society (WIE-RAS) hosted an online panel on best practices for teaching robotics. The diverse panel boasts experts in robotics education from a variety of disciplines, institutions, and areas of expertise:

Carlotta Berry - Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, passionate about robotics education, increasing underrepresented populations in STEM, and enhanced human-robot interfaces

Katie Driggs-Campbell - Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, explores safe and interactive autonomous systems through modeling human behavior, designing robust decision and control frameworks, and developing multi-agent validation schemes

Cecilia Laschi - Mechanical Engineering at the National University of Singapore, interests are in biorobotics, soft robotics, humanoid robotics and neurorobotics.

Iolanda Leite - Division of Robotics, Perception and Learning, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, develops social robots that can capture, learn from, and respond appropriately to the subtle dynamics of real-world situations

Karinne Ramirez-Amaro - Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, advances artificial intelligence and robotics research in semantic representations, decision making, and human activity recognition and understanding

Panelists have taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses ranging from introductory robotics and applied programming to project-based design courses to specialized courses on human-centered robotics, autonomous decision-making, human perception for information technology, and intelligent robotics to name a few.

Panelists share their experience in best practices for robotics education, provide strategies for applying these practices to new courses, discuss major challenges in online robotics education and how they have overcome them, and talk about where they see robotics education headed.