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Science Unscripted: Conversations with AI Experts

October 2, 2019 AT 8:00 am 5:00 pm

Join us for two evenings of dialogue with the best and brightest in AI

On October 29 and October 30 of 2019, the National Science and Technology Medals Foundation will be hosting two days of conversation with AI experts at The University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Day 1: Code-ifying AI
5:00 PM – Doors open
5:30 PM – Panel discussion
7:00 PM – Reception with free food and drinks

Day 2: Decoding Bias in AI
5:00 PM – Doors open
5:30 PM – Panel discussion
7:00 PM – Reception with free food and drinks

The National Science and Technology Medals Foundation invites you to two intimate evenings of discussion with AI researchers and professionals at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

These events are a part of the NSTMF’s Science Unscripted program. Through the SU program, the Foundation is building an inclusive coalition of inspired STEM students. By highlighting voices often left unheard in the STEM community, we show audiences that there is no “right” way to be a trailblazer in science and technology.

On October 29th, we will host “Code-ifying AI,” a discussion of AI policy. A panel of professionals and experts will examine what it will take to govern AI as well as the implications of incorporating AI into our everyday lives.

On October 30th, we will host “Decoding Bias in AI,” a panel discussion about implicit bias and how we can create more socially conscious AI. Implicit bias remains one of the most prevalent concerns about incorporating AI into the mainstream, and our panel is poised to deliberate the ethics and possible solutions to this issue.

Each evening, attendees will have the chance to hear about the lives and experiences of the women and men dedicated to creating smart, socially conscious AI. Read about our featured speakers below!

Each evening event will be webcast live with closed-captions on Facebook, and the full event videos will be available on our YouTube channel afterward. Webcast audiences are encouraged to participate in the conversation using #ScienceUnscripted on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Both events are no-cost, equal access (ADA compliant), and open to the public with priority given to University of Maryland, Baltimore County students and faculty.

Save your seat for day one: Code-ifying AI and day two: Decoding Bias in AI on Eventbrite now!





Cynthia Matuszek is an assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her research focuses on robots’ acquisition of grounded language, in which robots learn to understand how language relates to the real, physical world. She has developed algorithms and approaches that make it possible for robots to learn about their environment and how to follow instructions from interactions with non-technical end users. She received her Ph.D. in computer science and engineering from the University of Washington in 2014, where she was co-advised by Drs. Dieter Fox and Luke Zettlemoyer in robotics and natural language processing. She publishes in robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and human-robot interaction venues. Dr. Matuszek was recently named one of IEEE’s bi-annual “10 to watch in AI.”



Dr. José-Marie Griffiths is president of Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota. President Griffiths has spent her career in research, teaching, public service, corporate leadership, economic development, and higher education administration. She has served in presidential appointments to the National Science Board, the U.S. President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, and the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information. She has recently been appointed a member of the newly-formed National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, part of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for 2019. She has led projects for over 28 U.S. federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation and NASA, over 20 major corporations such as AT&T Bell Laboratories and IBM, in over 35 countries, and worked with seven major international organizations, including NATO and the United Nations. She has received over 20 significant awards in science, technology, teaching and the advancement of women in these fields.



Kandyce Jackson is an attorney helping investors, product managers, and engineering teams make decisions about how to deal with the legal implications of data activities and smart city infrastructure projects. Advises on privacy, security, automated decision systems, and consumer protection risks. Advice is informed by prior career managing projects and supervising teams as an information technology professional serving clients in highly regulated industries.



Rosario (Rose) Robinson is an innovative thought leader, speaker and global transformation change agent in technology and diverse workforce. As a woman technologist for more than 25 years and as the Senior Director, Women in Tech Evangelist for AnitaB.org, she helps further the organization’s mission for 50/50 women in tech by 2025 through stimulating storytelling, thoughtful dialogue and advocating for true representation in tech. Rose has worked in the Tech industry in various technical roles in Department of Defense/Intelligence community, Telecommunications, Geographic Information Systems, Cloud Computing, Infrastructure and Open Source Technologies and Programs. She is also an advisory board member for CoffeeChat, a startup that’s building Africa’s next leadership through mentoring and coaching.




Dr. James Foulds (Jimmy) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Systems at UMBC. His work aims to promote the practice of probabilistic modeling for computational social science, and to improve AI’s role in society regarding privacy and fairness. He earned his Ph.D. in computer science at the University of California, Irvine, and was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Santa Cruz, followed by the University of California, San Diego. His master’s and bachelor’s degrees were earned with first class honours at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, where he also contributed to the Weka data mining system.



Dr. Loretta H. Cheeks is an Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) expert, data science research consultant, and CEO of Strong TIES. During her tenure, she has helped organizations gain dynamic data insights serving enterprises, governments, and nonprofits. Dr. Cheeks is on a mission to create a better world with technology. Before earning a Ph.D. in Computer Science at Arizona State University, the STEAM advocate was developing, deploying and leading various teams within the communications, avionics, instrumentation & control and chemical industries for Fortune 500 corporations. She is the first to identify a computational approach for the discovery of news frames in unstructured text (e.g., online news articles). She has demonstrated a unique ability to integrate communication theory and computer science methods to inform the fields of machine learning, psychology, and mass communication. But this Doctor of Philosophy isn’t just paving the way for up-and-coming engineers, Dr. Cheeks is also committed to improving higher education for underserved and underrepresented communities to follow in her scientific footsteps. To do that, Dr. Cheeks created “Strong TIES,” a non-profit. She is listed among 10 Incredible Black Women in STEM, featured guest on Karen Hunter Show, featured by Verizon on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, recognized as a Change Maker at the White House, and NASA Datanauts. She regularly appears among thought leaders in conferences, peer-review publications, workshops, and speaking engagements in the world. Dr. Cheeks holds a Bachelor and Master of Science degree in Computer Science, Master in Technology Management, and Ph.D. in Computer Science.



Deborah K. Kariuki is a current computer science Education faculty at UMBC. Deborah is an Evangelist & Visionary of Computer Science Education committed to an Equitable Education for All by increasing Computer Science Education from K-26. Because every student in America should know and understand how to write/read code. Having good knowledge of Computational thinking is a key requirement for understanding our global technological world that we are living in today. Deborah has extensive experience as a software engineer, and an exceptional computer science educator. She has received many awards as a programmer and computer science educator. The awards that values most are those of making an impact on the next generation of women in computing. At her current dream job, Deborah is tasked to create a new Master of Computer Science Education at UMBC to prepare educators who are going to teach the next generation of computer scientists.




Chenming Hu

National Medal of Technology and Innovation


Shirley Ann Jackson

National Medal of Science

Physical Sciences

Mary-Claire King

National Medal of Science

Biological Sciences