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Andrew B. Williams, Ph.D., ’96


Andrew B. Williams, Ph.D., is the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Charles E. and Mary Jane Spahr Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science for the School of Engineering at the University of Kansas (KU). He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering with an emphasis in artificial intelligence at KU as a GEM Ph.D. Fellow sponsored by General Electric, his M.S. in electrical and computer engineering from Marquette University, and his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Kansas. He has authored over 80 technical and educational publications and invited presentations in artificial intelligence, robotics, and K-12 education and has been awarded over $8 million in research grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, NASA, and companies such as Google, Apple, and Boeing.

Dr. Williams is a National Science Foundation ScienceMaker, one of 180 African American top scientists interviewed and archived in the HistoryMakers oral history in the U.S. Library Congress. This honor resulted from his national efforts to increase diversity in STEM fields and his history-making role in founding and directing the SpelBots, an internationally known all-female RoboCup robotics team from Spelman College, where he also served as Department Chair in Computer and Information Sciences. Dr. Williams has the distinction of being personally hired by Steve Jobs as Apple Inc.’s first Senior Engineering Diversity Manager. Dr. Williams is the author of Out of the Box: Building Robots, Transforming Lives.