EECS Prof. Emerita Ruzena Bajcsy and her daughter, Klara Nahrstedt, are the first mother-daughter pair to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Bajcsy has been a member of the NAE since 1997 and Nahrstedt, the Chair of the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, was elected in February. The two sat down for a Fireside Chat at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications last month to discuss the accomplishment. “I’m a proud mother,” Bajcsy said. “And I’m thrilled to have been in this profession we have both shared.” Bajcsy is known for her work in human-centered computer control, cognitive science, robotics, image processing, and artificial vision, as well as her cross-disciplinary leadership. Nahrstedt researches security across shared systems, including multimedia distributed systems, wired and wireless networks, mobile systems, power grids, and edge-cloud systems. Both women faced daunting challenges during their careers. “We were ridiculed, and we were doubted. But you have to be strong,” Bajcsy said. They emphasized that building a strong support network was critical to success. “I learned that because of my mother,” said Nahrsted, “and through it I quickly believed I could do whatever I put my mind to.” Following in their footsteps, Bajcsy’s granddaughter and Nahrstedt’s niece, Andrea Bajcsy, is currently a doctoral candidate at Berkeley EECS, in her final term. She is slated to start as an Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon in Fall 2023.