Maja Matarić, USC
Maja Matarić is known for her groundbreaking work to build assistive robots that are being used as companions for children with autism, elderly patients with Alzheimer’s, and stroke patients. She has also done notable research in the areas of coordination of robot teams and robot navigation. A native of the former Yugoslavia, Matarić did her graduate work at MIT under Rodney Brooks, the esteemed Australian roboticist. A professor at USC, she’s also the founding director of the university’s Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems and co-director of its Robotics Research Laboratories.