The Ministry of Science and Innovation has awarded Carme Torras, expert mathematician in artificial intelligence and robots at the Institute of Robotics and Industrial Informatics (IRI-CSIC-UPC), with the National Research “Julio Rey Pastor” Award. The award was given for the area of Mathematics and Information and Communication Technologies in the 2020 edition of the Spanish National Research Awards.
Carme Torras is a researcher at IRI-CSIC-UPC. She is a member of the Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council created by the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation and is vice-president of the Ethics Committee of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). She holds a master’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Sciences from the University of Barcelona and the University of Massachusetts, respectively, and a PhD in Computer Sciences from the UPC. Throughout her career, she has won many awards, including the Narcís Monturiol award from the Government of Catalonia for Scientific and Technological Merit (2000). She is a Fellow of the European Association for Artificial Intelligence and of the IEEE, and a numerary member of the European Academy and of the Royal Academy of Science and Arts of Barcelona.
Carme Torras was given the award for her pioneering contributions in the area of smart robotics, in Spain and internationally, and particularly in the field of social robotics. In addition, the jury highlighted her research career and that the contribution of her scientific activity has led to progress of technology and society.
Throughout her career, Carme Torras has received numerous awards, including the Narcís Monturiol Medal from the Government of Catalonia for Scientific and Technological Merit (2000). She is a Fellow of the European Association of Artificial Intelligence and of the IEEE, and a full member of the European Academy and of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona.
The awards were presented by King Felip VI and Queen Letizia at an event held on 17 May at the Royal Palace of El Pardo in Madrid. Others in attendance included Pedro Duque, Minister of Science and Innovation, and Rosa Menéndez, president of CSIC.
The Spanish National Research Awards, which were created in 1982, are the most important in Spain in the area of scientific research. They recognise the merit of Spanish researchers who are carrying out notable work in scientific fields of international relevance and who contribute exceptionally to the progress of science, technology transfer and the advance of humanity. The total prize money for these awards is 300,000 euros (30,000 euros for each prize).
The edition this year had 100 candidates, of which 22 were women and 78 men. The awards were given on 13 November, by the Minister of Science and Innovation, Pedro Duque.