Yoky Matsuoka

 Professor Matsuoka giving a lectureDr. Yoky Matsuoka is one of the leading pioneers in the emerging field of neuro-robotics - a discipline where robotic models and virtual environments are used to understand the biomechanics and neuromuscular control of human limbs.  As a former SBCC student and now a professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, she recalls, “At SBCC everything seemed to be readily available from academics to competitive sports.  It was amazing how prepared I was when I transferred to U.C. Berkeley.  I think I was more prepared than any student from any other community college.  The personal attention you get here is nothing like at any other community college.”

After SBCC, Dr. Matsuoka transferred to U.C. Berkeley where she received her B.S. in Electrical Engineering Computer Science.  She went onto MIT, receiving her M.S. in EECS and her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Computational Neuroscience.  She was also a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department at MIT and in Mechanical Engineering at Harvard University.  Her work has been recognized with a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, acclaimed as one of “The Brilliant Ten” in Popular Science magazine and "Power 25” in Seattle Magazine.  In addition, she was awarded a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), an Anna Loomis McCandless Chair from Carnegie Mellon University, and the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Academic Career Award.

“Now my mother is attending SBCC,” adds Dr. Matsuoka. “She is at a time in her life where she is looking for new meanings.  It is such a perfect place for somebody like her, who already has a college degree from 20 years ago.  She’s always been curious about Psychology, especially Child Psychology, as well as Interior Design.  She ended up with a certificate in Interior Design.  It’s so cool to have all of these options available to so many people in the community.”