Our IHAWKe (Indigenous, Hispanic, African American, Women, KU Engineering) students are seeking to use AI to help people with dementia and their caregivers. Some of these students have grandparents that have suffered from this illness and know firsthand the pain it can cause and are determined to use AI and machine learning to transform how people around the world experience dementia for the better. This team is diverse not only because they are members of NSBE, SHPE, SWE, and KU Women in Computing but also because the are studying different fields of computer science, mechanical engineering, information technology, electrical engineering, and architectural engineering.
Later this month this team of diverse KU engineering students will compete against other teams in the National Academy of Engineering U.S. Nationals (West) for the Global Grand Challenge Summit Student Competition in Irvine, California. Thanks to a grant from the National Academy of Sciences and Engineering along with sponsorship from Lockheed Martin Corporation our students will be competing with teams from other universities for a chance to participate in the global competition in London during the Global Grand Challenge Summit this September.
Whether or not they win, our students are learning how to do customer discovery, create a business model, and prototype an AI solution that may help transform how people with dementia and their caregivers interact with each other and the environment they live in.
About the Author: Dr. Andrew B. Williams is the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive and Spahr Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at the University of Kansas. Dr. Williams began and now directs the IHAWKe (Indigenous, Hispanic, African American, Women, KU Engineering) program and building on the 40+ year old Diversity and Women’s program at KU Engineering that first gave him an introduction to engineering several years ago as a first-generation, low-income college student.
Copyright 2019 Andrew B. Williams, Ph.D.