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Robotics in Education in Africa - Ayorkor Korsah, Ashesi University College

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Robotics in Education in Africa Ayorkor Korsah, Ashesi University College Wednesday, May 27 17:30-18:00 WSCC 6C http://icra2015.org/conference/plenaries-keynotes Abstract: In 2006, a collaboration between Ashesi University College in Ghana and Carnegie Mellon University in the U.S. resulted in the first university-level robotics course to be run in Ghana. At the time, only one high school robotics club in the country was known, and it was not clear how active the club was. Today, there are several educational robotics programs in Ghana, including one that has helped establish robotics clubs in numerous schools in all regions of the country. Gradually, robotics is coming into the consciousness and catching the imagination of the younger generation. This talk discusses the relevance, impact, and prospects of robotics in education in Africa, particularly in countries like Ghana with currently low levels of industrialisation. Biography: G. Ayorkor Korsah is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at Ashesi University College, Ghana, where she teaches courses in programming, data structures and algorithms, and AI robotics. She holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in computers science and engineering from Dartmouth College, and a Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. Ayorkor's research and professional interests range from designing algorithms for robot path-planning and team coordination to exploring the role of technology in education in developing communities. In 2012, she co-founded, along with Ken Goldberg, the African Robotics Network (AFRON), aimed at promoting communication and collaborations to enhance robotics- related education, research, and industry on the continent. Along with a team of Ashesi University faculty and students, she also runs the annual Ashesi Innovation Experience (AIX), an enrichment program involving leadership training, design, entrepreneurship and robotics, for high school students.