Maja Mataric is the Chan Soon-Shiong Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics at the University of Southern California (USC), founding director of the USC Robotics and Autonomous Systems Center and her Interaction Lab. She received a PhD and MS from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and BS from the University of Kansas. She is Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), and recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision Award in Innovation, National Science Foundation (NSF) Career, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Technology Review (MIT TR35) Innovation, and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) Early Career Awards. A pioneer of the field of socially assistive robotics, her research enables robots to use human-robot interaction to aid in therapy, rehabilitation, training, and education and has been validated with children with autism, stroke survivors, Alzheimer's patients and other populations. She is also very involved in K–12 STEM outreach and mentoring of women and other under-represented groups.