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Andrea Lawrence

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Information about Andrea Lawrence

Profile image of Andrea Lawrence

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Computer Science Professor
Computer Scientist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Orange
Favorite Food:
Shellfish
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Orlando, Florida, Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
Find a way or make one.

Birthplace

Born:
10/6/1946
Birth Location:
Asheville, North Carolina

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Computer Science Professor
Computer Scientist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Orange
Favorite Food:
Shellfish
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Orlando, Florida, Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
Find a way or make one.

Birthplace

Born:
10/6/1946
Birth Location:
Asheville
See how Andrea Lawrence is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Computer scientist and computer science professor Andrea Lawrence was born in Asheville, North Carolina on October 6, 1946 to Jeanne Hayes and Emory Williams. Her family supported education and both of her parents finished college after she was born. Lawrence graduated from Allen High School in Ashville in 1964 and enrolled at Spelman College. She finished her undergraduate education at Purdue University earning her B.S. degree in mathematics in 1970. From 1979 to 1983, Lawrence taught mathematics in Cincinnati Public Schools before beginning her long career at Spelman College. She earned her M.S. degree in computer science from Atlanta University in 1985.

Having begun her career at Spelman as a lecturer and computer literacy coordinator, Lawrence was promoted to director of the computer science program in 1986. She held that position for three years before going back to school to pursue her doctorate. In 1993, Lawrence became the first African American to obtain her Ph.D. degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in computer science. She then returned to Spelman as an assistant professor in computer science, and in 1994, she became chair of the computer and information sciences department. Lawrence was promoted to associate professor of computer science in 1995. Throughout her career, she has been instrumental in programs to increase the number of minorities and woman involved in scientific disciplines, serving as president of the Association of Departments of Computer Science/Engineering at Minority Institutions (ADMI) and associate director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Scholars at Spelman College. Lawrence teaches a range of computer science classes including programming languages, computer graphics, artificial intelligence, and human-computer interactions. She also supervises projects on remote sensing in Antarctica, which uses satellites or aircraft to gather information about Antarctic ice. In addition to her teaching, Lawrence has published numerous papers for her research on human-computer interaction, including using computer animations to teach algorithms.

Lawrence has received several awards to date including the National Technical Association’s Technical Achiever of the Year Award in 2004. She was also named a Technology All-Star in 2005 by the National Women of Color (NWOC). Lawrence lives in Atlanta, Georgia and has three grown children, Deirdre, a scientific consultant, Allegra, an attorney and Valerie, a student.

Andrea Lawrence was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 17, 2012.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Andrea Lawrence's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Andrea Lawrence lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Andrea Lawrence describes her family history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her mother's growing up in North Carolina and Georgia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her father and how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her early relationships with her parents and grandparents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Andrea Lawrence shares her earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her love of reading, starting at age four
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Andrea Lawrence talks about the integration of Ashville, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Andrea Lawrence remembers her introduction to computers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Andrea Lawrence discusses her relationship with her father after her parents' separation
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Andrea Lawrence talks about the influence of her elementary school teachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Andrea Lawrence remembers her days at Allen High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Andrea Lawrence talks about traveling along with her father, uncle, and cousins
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Andrea Lawrence describes her interest about technology
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her coursework at Allen High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Andrea Lawrence describes meeting President Lyndon B. Johnson as a Presidential Scholar
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Andrea Lawrence talks about Spelman College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her role with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her coursework at Spelman College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Andrea Lawrence describes how she met her husband
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Andrea Lawrence talks about living in West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her computer science classes at Purdue University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Andrea Lawrence talks about reactions to the assassination of Dr. King
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her graduate work in computer science
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Andrea Lawrence talks about Dr. Etta Faulkner and her decision to pursue a Ph.D.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Andrea Lawrence talks about computers and her mentor, Albert Bodder
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Andrea Lawrence discusses her difficulties she fared as a woman attending Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Andrea Lawrence discusses the state of teaching of computer science at HBCUs
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Andrea Lawrence describes her work with NASA Wives Scholars program
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Andrea Lawrence talks about how her writing skills helped her computer science
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her book and the psychology of computers
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Andrea Lawrence talks about computer literacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Andrea Lawrence talks about cultural and gender bias in the computer science field
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Andrea Lawrence talks about Spelman College's future and her current research
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Andrea Lawrence shares her concerns about the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Andrea Lawrence reflects on her legacy and career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her three daughters
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Andrea Lawrence reflects on her life and career
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Andrea Lawrence describes her photos