Bambi Brewer

Pittsburgh, PA, US
Field of Work 
Robotics
Company 
Birdbrain Technologies LLC
Job Title or "Student" 
Curriculum Designer
Education 
Rhodes College, Carnegie Mellon University
Degree 
BS Math/Physics, PhD Robotics
Education Level 
PhD
Profile Biography 
I get to work with robots every day! I work for a small start-up company that makes educational robotics kits. I help teachers figure out how to use robots in their classrooms, and I spend time coming up with fun new projects for people to try.

I love my job, but I didn't always know that this was what I wanted to do. I always liked math and attended a math/science program in high school at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. I chose math as my major when I started college, and I enrolled in physics my freshman year because it was required for math majors. Physics was not my favorite class in high school, but I really enjoyed my college physics course and did well. My professor encouraged me to consider a double major, so I signed up for modern physics as a sophomore. I enjoyed it so much that I ended up completing degrees in both math and physics at Rhodes College in 2000.

During the summers in college, I worked in several physics labs, trying out different types of research. I learned that I found theoretical physics interesting, but I wanted a more applied career. By accident, I found the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University while I was looking for information on their physics program. I submitted an application and was accepted as a PhD student. In graduate school, I studied how robots can be used for rehabilitation after stroke and brain injury. I also had my son; I defended my dissertation on his first birthday.

After graduate school, I worked for six years as a professor in rehabilitation science. I even learned how to make prosthetic limbs! While I loved teaching, I eventually decided that I did not love being a professor. I resigned and began to search for a way to use robotics to help younger students see how math and science can be used to do cool things. Four years later, I still feel lucky that I have found a career I enjoy so much!

When I'm not at work, I like to spend time with my son, my husband, and our two poorly-behaved cats. We live near the park and enjoy walking there when the weather is nice. I also knit obsessively (mostly sweaters, but also stuffed animals, hats, etc.) and have a vegetable garden.
Interests 
Pets, Computing, Reading, Travel, Other
Race & Ethnicity 
White
Level of Participation 
After-school visit, In-school visit, Summer camp visit
My Experience 
I have been a Role Model many times.
Availability 
No Preference
Resources 
Hands-on activities for students
Program Affiliation 
None
Other Interests 
Knitting and Cooking

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