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Randi Williams, a recognized advocate for women and minorities in tech, recently graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a PhD in Computer Science.

Williams completed her Ph.D. studying human-robot interaction and preK-12 education in the Personal Robots group.

In an email to her University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) family, she shared her excitement about career prospects at top research universities. She also expressed her gratitude for the support she received and proudly acknowledged her roots at UMBC as a Meyerhoff Scholar (2012-2016).

As provost at UMBC, Freeman A. Hrabowski III, the 2013 Black Engineer of the Year, created the Meyerhoff program, which is dedicated to increasing diversity in science, engineering, and related fields.

Hrabowski, who served as president of UMBC from 1992 to 2022, was recognized for his outstanding contributions to education at the BEYA STEM Conference

In 2024, over 10,000 participants, including K-12 students, college students, professionals from corporate, government, and military sectors, as well as business and industry employers, gathered at the BEYA Conference to engage in learning, celebrating excellence, and exploring career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Williams is a member of the National Center for Women in Technology: Aspirations in Computing.

Previously, she served as a senator for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), where she was involved in planning and decision-making at the regional level.

Williams has received several prestigious fellowships, including the Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship and the LEGO Papert Fellowship, which allowed her to work at the intersection of creativity, play, learning, and new technologies.

She has also earned a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and was a GEM Fellow, preparing her for advanced careers in industry, academia, and government agencies. Additionally, she received the Ida Green Fellowship for outstanding women at MIT.

Williams is also a member of the Algorithmic Justice League, a non-profit organization that uses research, artwork, and policy advocacy to increase societal awareness regarding the use of artificial intelligence (AI)  and the harms and biases that AI can pose to society.

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