Nancy Amato's Bio

Nancy M. Amato - Short Bio

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Nancy M. Amato is Head of the Computer Science Department and Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received undergraduate degrees in Mathematical Sciences and Economics from Stanford, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois, respectively. Before returning to her alma mater in 2019, she was Unocal Professor and Regents Professor at Texas A&M University and Senior Director of Engineering Honors Programs.

Amato is known for algorithmic contributions to robotics task and motion planning, computational biology and geometry, and parallel and distributed computing. She has graduated 25 PhD students, with most going to faculty positions (12) or research positions in government or industry (9), and has worked with 30+ master's students, 100+ undergraduate researchers, and 10+ high school students. A majority of her students are from groups underrepresented in computing.

Amato has served in numerous leadership roles including CRA Board Chair (2021-2023), AAAS Section-T Chair (2021-2022), ACM Council Member-at-Large (2020-2024), and IEEE Robotics and Automation Society VP (2018-2021). She is dedicated to broadening participation in computing, and has served as CRA-WP Co-Chair (2014-2017), NCWIT Academic Alliance Co-Chair (2009-2011), and has Co-Directed the CRA-WP DREU program since 2000.

Her honors include the 2019 IEEE RAS Saridis Leadership Award in Robotics and Automation, the inaugural 2014 NCWIT Harrold/Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award, and the 2014 CRA Haberman Award for contributions to increasing diversity in computing. She is a Fellow of the AAAI, AAAS, ACM, and IEEE.