Marian Croak is now vice president of engineering at Google and leads the Research Center for Responsible AI and Human Centered Technology.

Marian Croak became one of the first two Black women to be inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame.
Her innovations in internet technology have enabled remote work, text donations, and voting for American Idol.
Croak is also an advocate for racial justice and gender representation in STEM.

When Marian Croak was just five or six years old, she grew enchanted with electricians and plumbers who came to fix broken wires and pipes at her home. She followed them around to see how things were done, peppering them with questions.

“I still do that today!” Croak told Google in a recent interview.

Croak’s fascination with engineering only grew over the years. Last year, she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame — among the highest honors for inventors, including Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and the Wright brothers.

Croak became one of first two Black women to receive that honor, alongside the late Patricia Bath, an ophthalmologist who created a device used during surgery to easily remove cataracts. (Of the Hall of Fame’s 610 inductees, just 48 of them are women and 30 are Black, according to Rini Paiva, executive vice president for selection and recognition at the NIHF.)

A lifelong innovator with more than 200 patents to her name, Croak most notably developed Voice over Internet Protocol, a technology that has innumerable and important uses in our everyday lives, including making remote work, text voting for American Idol, and Hurricane Katrina donations possible.

“I have always been motivated by the desire to change the world, and to do that I try to change the world that I’m currently in,” Croak told Google.

Developing groundbreaking technology

Croak was encouraged to pursue STEM from a young age: Her father built her a home chemistry set, offering her just a taste of things to come. After graduating from Princeton University and receiving her doctorate from the University of Southern California in 1982, Croak landed a job at AT&T Bell Laboratories, where other famed inventors like James West pioneered groundbreaking technologies.

At AT&T, Croak began working on Voice over Internet Protocol, which converts voice data into digital signals that can be transmitted over the internet, rather than through phone lines like in the early days of the internet.

Initially, the technology she helped develop …read more

Source:: Business Insider


Marian Croak, who has 200 patents to her name including the technology behind Zoom, became one of the first Black women to be inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame

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