Abstract: Computing is changing how we solve problems in all disciplines and is impacting all sectors of the economy and all aspects of daily life. At universities, booming enrollments and broad interest in computing across the campus are bringing exciting opportunities to establish new research collaborations and to create novel cross-disciplinary academic programs. These developments are causing universities to rethink how computing education is delivered and more broadly, how computing is situated in the institution. We need to strategically manage these opportunities, forming win-win academic and industrial partnerships. This includes developing innovative instructional models and technologies that enable us to meet the demand for computing education while still supporting faculty and graduate students to pursue our research. In this talk, we'll discuss strategies for capitalizing on the explosive interest in computing to explore foundational and emerging research directions, to scale and improve computing education, and to broaden participation in the field.
Bio: Nancy M. Amato is Regents Professor and Unocal Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University where she co-directs the Parasol Lab. Her main areas of research focus are robotics and motion planning, computational biology and geometry, and parallel and distributed computing. She 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, respectively. She is Vice President for Member Activities of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, and she served as Program Chair for the 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) and for Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) in 2016. She is an elected member of the CRA Board of Directors (2014-2017, 2017-2020), was Co-Chair of CRA-Women (2014-2017) and Co-Chair of the NCWIT Academic Alliance (2009-2011), and has served on the Academic Advisory Council of AnitaB.org since 2015.
At Texas A&M, she has served in several leadership roles, including Senior Director for Engineering Honors (2014-present), Interim Department Head (2013-2014), Chair of the Council of Principal Investigators (2009-2010), and Chair of the Alliance for Bioinformatics, Computational and Systems Biology (2007-2013). Her honors include the CRA Habermann Award, the NCWIT Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award, the IEEE Hewlett-Packard/Harriet B. Rigas Award, and a Texas A&M University-level teaching award. She is a Fellow of the AAAI, AAAS, ACM, and IEEE. https://parasol.tamu.edu/~amato/