Amato named Unocal Professor

Photo of Dr. Nancy AmatoDr. Nancy M. Amato was appointed to the endowed Unocal Professorship in the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University.

This endowed professorship is in recognition of Amato's excellent record of scholarly achievement and outstanding service. It is supported by a monetary gift from Unocal. The gift will be used for research related travel and graduate and undergraduate student support and travel.

Amato has been a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M since 1995. She is the director of OSIS (One Stop Information Source) and co-directs the Parasol Lab. She is deputy director of the Institute for Applied Math and Computational Science (IAMCS); associate director of CLASS (Center for Large-Scale Scientific Simulations); chairs  the university-level Alliance for Bioinformatics, Computational Biology and Systems Biology (ABCS); and chaired the Council of Principal Investigators.

She received undergraduate degrees in mathematical sciences and economics from Stanford University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was an AT&T Bell Laboratories PhD Scholar. Amato is a recipient of a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, serves as a Distinguished Speaker for the ACM Distinguished Speakers Program, and was a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (2006-2007).  Amato was awarded the 2011 Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching, and has received numerous awards recognizing her contributions in research, teaching and service. She is an IEEE Fellow.

She regularly serves on editorial boards, including the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Conference Editorial Board (2006-2010), IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation (2001-2004), IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems (2002-2005), Journal of Information Science and Engineering (2005-2011), International Journal of Computational Geometry and Applications (since 2008), Theory of Computing Systems (since 2009), and on review panels for NSF and NIH, and several European countries. She is an elected member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Administrative Committee (AdCom), she was a co-Chair the NCWIT Academic Alliance (2009-2011), she is a member of the Computing Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) and of the ACM, IEEE, and CRA sponsored Coalition to Diversity Computing (CDC); she co-directs the CDC/CRA-W Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates (DREU) program (known as the DMP from 1994-2008) and she co-directs the CDC/CRA-W Distinguished Lecture Series (DLS).

Her main areas of research focus are motion planning and robotics, computational biology and geometry, and parallel and distributed computing. Current representative projects include the development of a new technique for modeling molecular motions (e.g., protein folding), investigation of new strategies for crowd control and simulation, and STAPL, a parallel C++ library enabling the development of efficient, portable parallel programs.