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Cindy Bethel, who holds the Billie J. Ball Endowed Professorship in Engineering at Mississippi State, is pictured with the robotic and therapeutic beagle puppy she created, Therabot. (Photo by Beth Wynn)

Bethel named among worldwide leaders in robotics

A Mississippi State computer science and engineering professor has been recognized as one of the world’s top leaders in the field of robotics.

Cindy Bethel, a professor in Mississippi State’s James Worth Bagley College of Engineering, has been named as one of the “World’s 50 Most Renowned Women in Robotics” by Analytics Insight magazine. The recognition comes in the magazine’s June 2020 edition.

“I am surprised and deeply honored to be selected,” Bethel said. “I am excited to be named along with all of these talented and amazing women in robotics and to be recognized in such a wonderful way.”

According to the magazine, Analytics Insight selected “the top 50 dynamic women in the robotics industry who are leading their way to unprecedented excellence. These innovative leaders are excelling beyond the prevailing gender-diversity challenges and revolutionizing how the mechanism of robots is being leveraged to bring about transformation.”

Bethel’s research at Mississippi State focuses on robotics and human-robot interaction. She also studies interface designs, human-computer interaction, affective computing, and cognitive science. Specifically, she has helped design robots that aid trauma victims and mobile robots to assist law enforcement and first responders.

Bethel is the director of the Social, Therapeutic, and Robotic Systems (STaRS) Lab and was a 2019 U.S. – Australian Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. She was previously an NSF Computing Innovation Postdoctoral Research Fellow (CIFellow) at Yale University.

Bethel is the Billie J. Ball Endowed Professor in Engineering and has been elected to the Bagley College of Engineering Academy of Distinguished Teachers. She was named as one of 2019’s “30 women in robotics you need to know about” by Robohub.com and has been elected to serve on the board of directors of the Computing Research Association.


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