From Paulson: Women in STEM – “Barbara Grosz wins graduate mentoring award”

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

May 17, 2017

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Barbara Grosz

Grosz honored during 19th annual Everett Mendelsohn Award Ceremony.

Barbara Grosz, Higgins Professor of Natural Sciences at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), has received the Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award from the Graduate Student Council.

The award, presented to five individuals this year, honors faculty advisors who have gone above and beyond in guiding students along their path to the Ph.D. Students nominate their advisors for the award, which is named in honor of Everett I. Mendelsohn, Professor of the History of Science, Emeritus, and a former master of Dudley House.

The award celebrates the essential nature of strong mentoring at the graduate level and highlights the crucial role Grosz and her fellow awardees play in fostering caring and intellectually exciting departmental communities.

A pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, Grosz seeks to address fundamental problems in modeling collaborative activity, developing systems (“agents”) able to collaborate with each other and their users, and constructing collaborative, multi-modal systems for human-computer communication.

She has also played an important role as a mentor to women in science and engineering, serving on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Women in Academic Science and Engineering and on the Association for Computing Machinery Women’s Council Executive Board.

Grosz’ past doctoral students include Martha Pollack, President of Cornell University; Ehud Reiter, Chair in Computing Science at the School of Natural and Computing Sciences, University of Aberdeen; Luke Hunsberger, Professor of Computer Science at Vassar College; and Cécile Balkanski, Associate Professor at IUT d’Orsay, Université Paris-Sud.

See the full article here .

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Through research and scholarship, the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) will create collaborative bridges across Harvard and educate the next generation of global leaders. By harnessing the power of engineering and applied sciences we will address the greatest challenges facing our society.

Specifically, that means that SEAS will provide to all Harvard College students an introduction to and familiarity with engineering and technology as this is essential knowledge in the 21st century.

Moreover, our concentrators will be immersed in the liberal arts environment and be able to understand the societal context for their problem solving, capable of working seamlessly withothers, including those in the arts, the sciences, and the professional schools. They will focus on the fundamental engineering and applied science disciplines for the 21st century; as we will not teach legacy 20th century engineering disciplines.

Instead, our curriculum will be rigorous but inviting to students, and be infused with active learning, interdisciplinary research, entrepreneurship and engineering design experiences. For our concentrators and graduate students, we will educate “T-shaped” individuals – with depth in one discipline but capable of working seamlessly with others, including arts, humanities, natural science and social science.

To address current and future societal challenges, knowledge from fundamental science, art, and the humanities must all be linked through the application of engineering principles with the professions of law, medicine, public policy, design and business practice.

In other words, solving important issues requires a multidisciplinary approach.

With the combined strengths of SEAS, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and the professional schools, Harvard is ideally positioned to both broadly educate the next generation of leaders who understand the complexities of technology and society and to use its intellectual resources and innovative thinking to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Ultimately, we will provide to our graduates a rigorous quantitative liberal arts education that is an excellent launching point for any career and profession.