BEARS 2020: Distinguished Alumni

The EECS Department is proud to present the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Awards in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The Distinguished Alumni Awards were established in 1991 to honor our most esteemed and accomplished alumni from across industry and academia. Since then, we have had the privilege of adding over 98 individuals to the ranks of our Distinguished Alumni in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.


Dan Jurafsky - CS

Ph.D. 1992, advisor: Robert Wilensky

For groundbreaking research on natural language processing and its application to the cognitive and social sciences, and excellence in teaching and communication with the public.

Dan Jurafsky is Professor and Chair of Linguistics and Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. He received a B.A in Linguistics in 1983 and a PhD in Computer Science in 1992 from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a postdoc from 1992-1995 at the International Computer Science Institute, and was on the faculty of the University of Colorado, Boulder until moving to Stanford in 2003. Dan is the recipient of a 2002 MacArthur Fellowship, is the co-author with Jim Martin of the widely-used textbook "Speech and Language Processing", and co-created with Chris Manning one of the first massively open online courses, Stanford's course in Natural Language Processing. His trade book "The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu" was a finalist for the 2015 James Beard Award.


Clyde Rodriguez - CS

B.A. 1995

For a distinguished career providing technology advice to senior executives at major technology and financial services firms.

Clyde Rodriguez is the CTO for Cloud Services at Bank of America and an entrepreneur. The son of farm workers from the Central Valley of California, Clyde enrolled in the undergraduate EECS major, and despite numerous challenges, graduated in 1995. He began his career as an AI-based robotics researcher and developer at Stanford Research Institute and went on to work for Steve Jobs' NeXT Inc. He joined Microsoft and led the development of the company's first commercial 64-bit Windows operating systems and was an early member of Microsoft's Azure organization where he formed and led the Cloud Networking team. He has served as an advisor to the United Nations on the use of technology for global development and also mentored inner-city Brooklyn youth, building robots for competition. He was a finalist for the Aspen Institute's Henry Crown Fellowship in Leadership, and is the founder of Eleva Mobility, a socially-focused technology startup.


Valerie Taylor - EE

M.S. 1986 / Ph.D. 1991, advisor: David Messerschmitt
For outstanding contributions to high performance computing and for leadership in broadening participation in the field.

Valerie Taylor is the Director of the Mathematics and Computer Science Division and a Distinguished Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory.  Her research is in the area of high-performance computing, with a focus on performance analysis, modeling and tuning of parallel, scientific applications. Prior to joining Argonne, she was the Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering and a Regents Professor and the Royce E. Wisenbaker Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University. In 2003, she joined Texas A&M University as the Department Head of CSE, where she remained in that position until 2011. Prior to that Dr. Taylor was a member of the faculty in the EECS Department at Northwestern University for eleven years. She is also the Executive Director of the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT (CMD-IT).  Valerie is an IEEE Fellow, an ACM Fellow, and has received numerous awards for distinguished research and leadership, including the 2001 IEEE Harriet B. Rigas Award, which recognizes outstanding faculty women who have made significant contributions in engineering education; the 2002 Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni from the University of California, Berkeley, the 2002 CRA Nico Habermann Award for increasing the diversity in computing, and the 2005 Tapia Achievement Award for Scientific Scholarship, Civic Science, and Diversifying Computing. She earned her B.S. in ECE and M.S. in Computer Engineering from Purdue University in 1985 and 1986, respectively, and a PhD here at EECS in 1991.


Willy Sansen - EE

Ph.D. 1972, advisor: Robert G. Meyer
For excellence in teaching and for contributions to the systematic and disciplined design of analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits.

Prof. Willy Sansen has an MSc Degree from the K.U.Leuven and received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1972. Since 1980 he has been a full professor at the Catholic University of Leuven, in Belgium, where he has headed the ESAT-MICAS laboratory on analog design since 1984. He has supervised over sixty-three PhD theses and has authored and co authored more than 635 publications, along with sixteen books. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and was program chair of the ISSCC-2002 conference and is now Past-President of the IEEE Solid-State Circuits.