Pioneering AI expert to speak at Governors State on April 8
Juan Gilbert leads Human Experience Research Lab at University of Florida
(University Park, Ill.) — African American computer scientist, researcher, inventor, and educator, Dr. Juan Gilbert has created a model to break racial and gender barriers and change lives at the University of Florida (UF), where Gilbert leads a strategic model that has generated the most Black Ph.D.’s in computer science in the nation and an impressive number of Black computer science faculty.
His strategies also produced record numbers of Black engineers at Auburn and Clemson universities before he joined UF in 2014. Now, Gilbert is bringing the message to Governors State University (GSU) as the keynote speaker in the final installment of a series on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The April 8 event, designed to help increase number of minority students in STEM, begins at 9 a.m. on GSU campus. A virtual option is also available.
At University of Florida, Gilbert is the Andrew Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Professor and Chair of the Computer & Information Science & Engineering Department. He also leads the Human-Experience Research Lab helping students discover how to marry AI with user experience. He said the secret to his success in graduating Black Ph.D. computer science engineers is intentional recruiting and a model that can replicated widely.
“What we have done is the first of its kind, but that doesn’t mean it’s the last, and it can be done at GSU, too,’’ said Gilbert.
Through highly targeted recruiting and engagement, Gilbert has built an immensely successful model that helps create AI solutions for mainstream problems. Two of Gilbert’s projects have launched from the lab to life according to a 2006 issue of Auburn Engineering.
The first is an accessible voting system called Prime III, inspired by the "hanging chad" controversy in the 2000 presidential election; and the second is a data-mining and software-analysis tool that allows education admissions officers to expeditiously address diversity and capacity in admissions while maintaining academic standards and adhering to the law, according to Auburn Researchers Make Voting Easier.
These are but two of Gilbert’s innovations, which have won praise from his peers and presidents.
Former President Barack Obama selected Dr. Gilbert to receive the Presidential Award of Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. In 2012, the National Center for Women & Information Technology selected Gilbert as one of the inaugural recipients of its annual Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award for his outstanding mentorship, creation of high-quality research opportunities, recruitment of women and minority students, as well his efforts to encourage and advance undergraduate students in STEM-related fields.
Before joining UF, Gilbert led human centered computing for nearly five years at Clemson University, and was a distinguished researcher at Auburn University before that. At Governors State, he will share his pedagogies and DEI strategies. Community Health major Exequiel Rosaldo will moderate the discussion, which will be followed by Q & A and breakout sessions.
Click here to RSVP or to access the link to join virtually.