M. Bernardine Dias is an Associate Research Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Originally from Sri Lanka, Dr. Dias earned her B.A. from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York with a dual concentration in Physics and Computer Science and a minor in Women’s Studies (1998), followed by a M.S. (2000) and Ph.D. (2004) in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. Her research interests span technology for underserved communities and autonomous human-robot team coordination.
Dr. Dias’ principal research objective is to create culturally appropriate computing technology accessible to underserved communities. To this end she founded and directs the TechBridgeWorld research group that innovates and field tests computing solutions that address the needs of underserved communities around the world. Over the last eight years she has traveled to many parts of the world, meeting with underserved communities, creating technology solutions to fit their needs, empowering future technologists in these communities, and inspiring many students to follow her lead. TechBridgeWorld’s innovations span a variety of tools ranging from a low-cost automated Braille Writing Tutor for blind children, to computing and mobile phone-based tools for enhancing English literacy education, and many more. Dias is also a recognized leader in autonomous team coordination research. Her doctoral dissertation developed the “TraderBots” market-based framework for multi-robot coordination in dynamic environments. She continues to advance the state-of-the-art in autonomous team coordination and planning through the rCommerce research group which she co-created and co-directs. Her research efforts also extend to Carnegie Mellon’s Qatar campus through the Qri8 robotics lab which she co-founded and co-directs.
Dr. Dias has authored many articles for leading academic journals and conferences, given numerous presentations at a variety of forums, and has received several honors and awards. She is also passionate about mentoring students and works through many avenues to encourage young people, and especially girls and women, to pursue careers in science and technology.
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