Julie A. Shah is an associate professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she leads the Interactive Robotics Group of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Before joining the faculty, she worked at Boeing Research and Technology on robotics applications for aerospace manufacturing. She has developed innovative methods for enabling fluid human-robot teamwork in domains as varied as manufacturing, surgery, and space exploration.
At Radcliffe, Shah is investigating effective ways to blend the unique decision-making strength of humans and machines. Machines need to be explicitly told how to be helpful or when to stay out of the way—things human teammates seem to learn intuitively. In collaboration with cognitive scientists, Shah’s aim is to embed this form of intuition into machines in ways that objectively improve the performance of human-machine teams.
In 2014, Shah was recognized by the National Science Foundation with a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award and by MIT Technology Review on its 35 Innovators Under 35 list. Her work on industrial human-robot collaboration was also in Technology Review’s 2013 list of 10 Breakthrough Technologies. She has received international recognition in the form of best paper awards and nominations from the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling, and the International Symposium on Robotics. Shah earned degrees in aeronautics and astronautics and in autonomous systems from MIT.