The daughter of two math teachers, Russakovsky was born in Ukraine and grew up in Palo Alto, California. She attended a Stanford math camp in high school, inspiring her to start the SAILORS summer camp later in her career. Russakovsky studied mathematics as a Stanford undergrad, and also earned her PhD in computer science at Stanford under Professor Fei-Fei Li. She pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at Carnegie Mellon before receiving a post as Princeton Professor.
She’s frequently talked about her own doubts and experiences being a woman in the mathematical world, along with her emphasis on mental health.
“Reach out and find mentors! Don’t isolate yourself. Make friends and find a variety of mentors. Not only female mentors. Having a diverse peer support group in your field and diverse mentors really helps when you’re struggling with something.”
“Start small, make sure it’s done right and that it will make an impact; then scale up from there. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.”
“It’s very clear we have diversity problems in AI. If you look around the room at any conference or event, you notice there are minority groups who are missing.”
“Just because you don’t want to be in a group of people who are all different from you where you stick out, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not interested in math and science.”
her personal website
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