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Awards and Recognition | Mathematics and Computer Science

Valerie Taylor receives Distinguished Engineering Alumni/Alumnae Award from Purdue

The award honors alumni whose notable career and life achievements reflect favorably on Purdue University, the engineering profession, or society in general.

Valerie Taylor has been chosen as a recipient of the 2023 Distinguished Alumni/Alumnae Award by Purdue University.

Taylor is director of the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory and concurrently serves as a senior scientist within the Consortium for Advanced Science and Engineering at the University of Chicago.

I am honored to be recognized as a distinguished alumna of Purdue,” Taylor said. Purdue was where I became motivated to pursue a career in research, and I continue to be excited by the opportunities raised by high-performance computing.”

Taylor received her B.S. in computer and electrical engineering and her M.S. in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1985 and 1986, respectively, and her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1991. She then spent the next 26 years in academia, first at Northwestern University and then at Texas A&M University, where she served as department head of Computer Science and Engineering and, subsequently, senior associate dean of academic affairs in the College of Engineering and a Regents Professor and the Royce E. Wisenbaker Professor. She joined Argonne in 2017 as director of the MCS division and was named an Argonne Distinguished Fellow in 2019. She is also a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). 

Taylor has over 150 publications in high-performance computing, with a focus on performance analysis and energy-efficient computing. Complementing Taylor’s outstanding record of research achievements is her significant leadership in expanding the diversity of underrepresented groups in the high-performance computing community. She was co-founder and is CEO of the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT and was co-founder of the Tapia Conference, which has become the premier conference for the celebration of diversity in computing. She received the 2002 CRA Nico Habermann Award for increasing the diversity in computing; the 2005 Tapia Achievement Award for Scientific Scholarship, Civic Science, and Diversifying Computing.

The award was presented to Taylor during the Distinguished Engineering Alumni/Alumnae Awards dinner on April 13, 2023.