Nancy M. Amato is Unocal Professor and Regents Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University where she co-directs the Parasol Lab. She is also Senior Director of Engineering Honors Programs in the College of Engineering and Co-Coordinator of the Computer Science and Engineering Track of Engineering Honors. In January 2019, Amato will join the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as Department Head and as Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering.
Amato received undergraduate degrees in Mathematical Sciences and Economics from Stanford University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, respectively. Her main areas of research focus are motion planning and robotics, computational biology and geometry, and parallel and distributed computing. She has graduated 23 PhD students, with most going on to careers in academia (10) or government or industry research labs (8), and the rest going to industry (3) or postdocs (2). She has graduated 28 master's students, and has worked with more than 100 undergraduate researchers and more than 10 high school students, with the majority being students from groups underrepresented in computing. She currently supervises 11 PhD students, 5 masters students, and more than 5 undergraduate and high school researchers.
Amato received the A. Nico Habermann Award from the CRA in 2014, the inaugural NCWIT Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award in 2014, the 2013 IEEE Education Society Hewlett-Packard/Harriet B. Rigas Award, the Betty M. Unterberger Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Education at Texas A&M in 2013, and a University-level teaching award from the Texas A&M Association of Former Students in 2011. She received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, was an AT&T Bell Laboratories PhD Scholar, is a Distinguished Speaker for the ACM Distinguished Speakers Program, and was a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (2006-2007). She is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the World Technology Network (WTN).
Amato was Program Chair for the 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) and for the 2016 Robotics: Systems and Science Conference. She chairs the Steering Committee for the Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics (WAFR), served as the Editor-in-Chief of the IROS Conference Paper Review Board (2011-2013), and serves on the editorial board of IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (2015-present), International Journal of Computational Geometry and Applications (IJCGA) (2008-present), Springer Tracts on Advanced Robotics (STAR) Series (2015-present), and Theory of Computing Systems (TCS) (2009-present), and previously served as an Editor for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Conference Editorial Board (2006-2010), and on the boards of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation (2001-2004) and of the IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Computing (2002-2005). She is an elected member of the CRA Board of Directors (2014-2017, 2017-2020), and of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Administrative Committee (2009-2011, 2012-2014). She has served as co-Chair of the Computing Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W, 2014-2017) and was co-Chair of the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) Academic Alliance (2009-2011). She has directed or co-directed the CRA-W/CDC Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates (DREU, formally known as the DMP) since 2000; DREU is a national program that matches undergraduate women and students from underrepresented groups, including ethnic minorities and persons with disabilities, with a faculty mentor for a summer research experience at the faculty member's home institution.
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