Maja Matarić Named 2024-2025 ACM Athena Lecturer

May 22 , 2024

ACM has named Maja Matarić, the Chan Soon-Shiong Chair and Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California, as the 2024-2025 ACM Athena Lecturer. Matarić is recognized for pioneering the field of socially assistive robotics, including groundbreaking research, evaluation, and technology transfer, and foundational work in multi-robot coordination and human-robot interaction. Matarić is also the founding director of the USC Robotics and Autonomous Systems Center, and a Principal Scientist at Google DeepMind.

“Maja Matarić has been one of the key figures responsible for significant advances in robotics in recent years,” said ACM President Yannis Ioannidis. “Her work with Toto laid the foundation for robot control, and the development of socially assistive robotics—which is poised to transform education, eldercare, and many other areas—owes a great deal to her innovations. The Athena Award also recognizes those who have dedicated themselves to mentoring. Matarić has not only guided her students at USC, but she has taken the initiative in introducing K-12 students to her field. As a mentor and as a champion of women in her field, Matarić stands in a league of her own.”

Initiated in 2006, the ACM Athena Lecturer Award celebrates women researchers who have made fundamental contributions to computer science. It includes a $25,000 honorarium provided by Two Sigma. The Athena Lecturer is invited to present a lecture at an ACM event.

Read the ACM news release.