Maja J Matarić is the Vice Dean for Research. She is responsible for research development and mentoring, interdisciplinary collaborations and programs, research awards coordination, K-12 outreach activities, and technology transfer. She also coordinates partnerships and programs between the Viterbi School and other USC schools and units, serves as a liaison to USC Stevens, oversees the Western Region Application Center, and heads VAST, the Viterbi Adopt-a-School, Adopt-a-Teacher STEM outreach program.
Maja Matarić is Professor and Chan Soon-Shiong Chair of Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics, the founding director of the USC Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems and the co-director of the USC Robotics Research Lab. She received a B.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Kansas in 1987, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1990 and 1994, respectively. Prof. Matarić joined USC in 1997 as an Assistant Professor, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2001, and to Professor in 2006. She is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM), Okawa Foundation Award, NSF Career Award, MIT TR100 Innovation Award, IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award, USC Viterbi School of Engineering Service Award and Junior Research Award, Provost's Center for Interdisciplinary Research Fellowship, Mellon Mentoring Award, Academic Senate Distinguished Faculty Service Award, and the 2010 Remarkable Woman Award. She is a fellow of the AAAS and of the IEEE and a member of Phi Kappa Phi. Her Interaction Lab performs research into socially assistive robotics aimed at endowing robots with the ability to help people through non-contact monitoring, coaching, motivation, and training; her work has been successfully tested with stroke patients, Alzheimer's patients, healthy elderly, and children with autism spectrum disorders. Her research has been featured broadly in the media, including in the documentary movie "Me & Isaac Newton", in The New Yorker, Popular Science, IEEE Specturm, CNN, and the Today Show, and she is one of five LA Times Magazine Visionaries for 2010. Prof. Matarić is committed to K-12 outreach; she is PI of the Viterbi School's NSF Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Site. She has also served as the elected President of the USC Academic Senate and Faculty (2006-07) and has chaired the Viterbi School's Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Committee (2005-06).