Maryam "Mary" Pourebadi

Contextual Robotics Institute, University of California San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093–0436
(707) 709-MARY

Maryam Mary Pourebadi, Ph.D., is an alumna of the Computer Science and Engineering department at the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego). As a graduate researcher in the Healthcare Robotics Lab, she has been advised by Dr. Laurel Riek. With a dual appointment as a dedicated neurosciences researcher in the Department of Neurosciences at UC San Diego and a proud affiliation with the Contextual Robotics Institute, she's a trailblazer at the intersection of robotics, artificial intelligence, computer vision, and health informatics.

Trained as both a scientist and an engineer, Maryam specialized in designing and developing social robots that realistically depict the appearances of a diverse group of humans and mimic human-like behaviors, including expressions, gestures, and meaningful conversations. These robots autonomously learn from and interact with people in real-world dynamic environments. Her mission? To seamlessly integrate these lifelike robots into diverse settings, ensuring the effective delivery of personalized interventions, and ultimately promoting enhanced human health and safety.

Throughout her Ph.D. journey, Maryam has diligently worked on shaping the future of autonomous, interactive physical robots and virtual agents. These creations possess the remarkable ability to realistically emulate human expressions and even facial impairments. Going beyond, she has leveraged this technology to develop personalized anti-bias educational interventions. These interventions simulate diverse social identities, recreate clinical scenarios, and engage in interactions with clinical learners in real-time. Maryam's approach hinges on extensive data collection, cutting-edge computational modeling, and close collaboration with esteemed stakeholders, including neurocritical care specialists, medical educators, and individuals with neurological disorders. The goal? To advance healthcare education by fostering personalized anti-bias learning experiences, thereby promoting equitable clinical practices.

Maryam's accolades, including the ACM Student Research Competition Certificate of Recognition award, the UC San Diego Graduate Association Award for Outstanding Graduate Leadership, and the Jacobs Graduate Student Council Award, underscore her commitment to excellence. Notably, she has been honored with the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) award, the ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing (Tapia) award, and the GPSA Award for Computing Research Association Women (CRA-W). Mary received her Master's degree in Computer Science from Kent State University in 2017, where she developed unsupervised deep learning methodologies for autonomously assessing and monitoring image quality in various image processing and computer vision applications. Prior to that, she earned her Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering in 2015, dedicating her undergraduate years to developing cutting-edge artificial intelligence algorithms for cancer detection.

Maryam Mary Pourebadi is more than a scientist and engineer; she's a visionary shaping the future of robotics, where technology revolutionizes lives!

Find more about her: