2015 Distinguished Academic Achievement Alumni Award

Nancy Amato
Nancy Amato

Nancy Amato is the Unocal Professor of CS and Engineering (CSE) at Texas A&M University, where she co-directs the Parasol Lab. Her research interests include motion planning and robotics, computational biology and geometry, and parallel and distributed computing.

During her 20-year tenure at Texas A&M, she has graduated 16 PhD students, most of whom work in academia or research labs, and 25 master’s students. In addition, she has worked with more than 100 undergraduates and 10 high school students.

She has received a number of honors from Texas A&M for her teaching, including the 2015 CSE Award for Graduate Teaching Excellence, the 2013 Betty M. Unterberger Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Education, and a 2010 and 2011 Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching.

In addition, Amato received the 2013 IEEE Hewlett-Packard/Harriet B. Rigas Award, which recognizes an outstanding woman educator, for increasing the participation of underrepresented members in the computing research community. In 2014, the Computing Research Association presented Amato with the A. Nico Habermann Award for being a tireless and highly effective leader of programs that engage women and underrepresented minorities in computing research, particularly the CRA-W Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.

She is a Fellow of both the IEEE and the American Association for the Advancement of Science for her contributions to the algorithmic foundations of motion planning in robotics and computational biology.

She earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and mathematical sciences from Stanford and her master’s degree in CS from UC Berkeley. At Illinois, she studied under former CS/ECE Professor Franco Preparata.