New Faculty Member, 2022–23
Assistant Professor, Computer science and engineering
As a first-generation college student, Hannah Kerner did not have much exposure to career paths in technology while she was growing up.
“My grandma bought me my first laptop when I was in high school, which I used to find an internship opportunity at NASA after I graduated,” Kerner says. “At NASA Langley Research Center, I worked on developing tools for atmospheric data processing and visualization. That was the launchpad for my career trajectory in computer science.”
Kerner’s love of computers has led her to a new role as an assistant professor of computer science and engineering in the School of Computing and Augmented Intelligence, one of the seven schools in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. This is not her first experience with the university, as Kerner earned her doctoral degree at ASU in 2019.
“My focus is use-inspired AI and machine learning research to develop advances needed for making AI and machine learning systems work for real-world challenges,” Kerner says. “There is no better place to conduct use-inspired research than ASU, where this mandate is part of the charter.”
In her previous role, Kerner worked as an assistant research professor at the University of Maryland and was affiliated with NASA Harvest, where she created operational systems for monitoring agriculture and food security globally. Her experience landed her a notable spot in Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science in 2021. She will continue her work with NASA Harvest at ASU, leading the artificial intelligence and machine learning team from its new headquarters at the university.
As Kerner prepares to teach the CSE 572 Data Mining course this semester, students should anticipate a fun-filled experience learning about data mining fundamentals and how to implement these techniques for real-world challenges.
“I’m excited to meet all the new students in the School of Computing and Augmented Intelligence and the broader ASU community and engage with them on exciting research and teaching projects,” Kerner says.
Outside of her role at ASU, Kerner is an enthusiastic scuba diver, hiker, reader and vegan baker in addition to her strong commitment to professional development and mentorship. She is passionate about serving people who have been traditionally underrepresented in or excluded from STEM and computer science, devoting her time to volunteering with organizations, including Girls Who Code, Women in Machine Learning and From Prison Cells to PhD.
Written by Annelise Krafft