This year, in celebration of Black History Month, we are highlighting the work of noted engineer Marian Rogers Croak.
Dr. Croak was born in 1955 in New York City. As a child, she became interested in science and engineering after receiving a home chemistry set from her father. She graduated from Princeton University in 1977, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in Quantitative Analysis and Psychology from the University of Southern California in 1982. After graduation, she joined AT&T Bell Labs, where she worked on emerging technologies, including digital messaging applications.
Her contributions at AT&T advanced digital communications – in particular, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. VoIP has replaced the analog phone connections of the past and many of our phones today use the internet to transmit our conversations. VoIP is the technology that allows that to happen.
While at AT&T, Dr. Croak managed over 2,000 engineers who were responsible for more than 500 research and development programs in AT&T’s enterprise, consumer wireline and mobile services.
Marian Croak has been awarded over 200 patents, many of which laid the foundation for the digital communication technologies we know and use today. She was one of the first Black women to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. She also holds a patent for developing technology that enables text-based donations to charity organizations, and is a member of the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame.
After 32 years at AT&T, Dr. Croak joined Google in 2014 as Vice President of Engineering and head of the Responsible AI & Human Centered Technology department. She also contributes her time to racial justice and outreach efforts to promote STEM careers in young women.
Her accomplishments and commitment to promoting STEM education and career guidance to minority groups is truly inspiring.