Distinguished Speaker Seminar – Dr. Kamau Bobb


Equity and Computing in an Era of Chaos

Dr. Bobb will discuss the national challenge of establishing equity in computing
education in a time of deep social and political divisions. The demand for a technical
and talented workforce, particularly in computing, is increasing unabatedly. Coincident
with that demand, the demographics of the country are swiftly changing, never to
return to what they once were. In this talk, Dr. Bobb will address the tensions inherent
in a social structure that is resistant to change and an economy that requires it.

Kamau Bobb is a national authority in STEM education. He is the founding Senior
Director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech. He
is an engineer and science and technology policy scholar whose work focuses on
the relationship between equity for students and communities of color in the STEM
enterprise, large educational systems, and the social and structural conditions that
influence contemporary American life.

He brings to his current position a wealth of experience as a former Program Officer at the National
Science Foundation (NSF). At NSF he was responsible for $30 million annually of investments targeted on
improving computing and STEM education. In that role Dr. Bobb worked at the highest levels of the federal
government to help shape the national research agenda for effective means of delivering equitable and
quality computational education to all students.

He has worked with members of the Office and Science and Technology Policy in the Obama Administration
to set the national strategy for STEM education at both post-secondary and secondary school levels. He
was selected as a member of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper STEM + Entrepreneurship Taskforce
to help U.S. cities craft strategies to engage young men and boys of color in the STEM landscape. Prior
to his federal appointment, Dr. Bobb was the Director of the STEM Initiative for the University System of
Georgia, a collaborative effort with the governor’s office to improve STEM education across the 30 public
institutions serving approximately 325,000 students in the state.
Dr. Bobb brings to STEM education a fierce commitment to equity as an indicator of justice. He has addressed
and advised numerous leading tech sector companies, universities and k-12 schools. His writing on STEM
education and culture has been featured in The Atlantic, Black Enterprise, The Root, Edutopia and on the
Obama White House Blog. His national and state leadership have contributed to a STEM education agenda
that is more honest and reflective of contemporary social and cultural realities.
Dr. Bobb holds a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Policy from Georgia Tech and M.S. and B.S. degrees in
Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Lisa
and daughter, Sadira.