Tarouco is considered one of her country’s leading Internet researchers and teachers, responsible for training and mentoring hundreds of experts in networks and security applications. She began researching networks in the 1970s as a professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. Her first textbook, Redes de Comunicacao de Dados (Data Communications Networks) was published in 1977 and became a core text in university computing programs throughout Brazil. A second text followed in 1986.
Throughout her academic career, Tarouco supervised scores of dissertations and doctoral theses in computer sciences programs. She also developed training activities in networks throughout Brazil as well as in Uruguay, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Mexico, Portugal, and Mozambique. In the 1990s, she dedicated herself to the research and development of Internet applications for education, thereby expanding the reach of her own instruction as well as expanding on the innovative uses of the network for learning.
Tarouco’s key contributions to the development of the Brazilian Internet began back in the 1970s when she applied her networking knowledge to build the Rede Sul de Teleprocessamento, the first initiative for interconnecting Brazilian universities. The project never received the funding it needed, but it served as a model and inspiration for networks to come. Later, Tarouco was instrumental in the launch of Rede Tchê, a network between universities and research centers located in the State of Rio Grande do Sul. She also helped develop the metropolitan network MetroPOA and collaborated on the design and formation of the National Research Network, Brazil’s first Internet backbone, in 1992.