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ACM Visionaries to Address Women in Computing Conference

ACM President Wendy Hall and ACM Turing Award Winner Fran Allen among Speakers

The Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession

Contact: Virginia Gold

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New York, September 30, 2008 – At the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) October 1–4 in Keystone, CO, the stars of the female firmament will be out in full force to illuminate the significant role that women play in creating and utilizing technology to improve world conditions.  Among the ACM speakers are: ACM President Wendy Hall of the University of Southampton, a founding director of the Web Science Research Initiative; keynoter Fran Allen, an IBM Fellow Emerita and recipient of ACM's highly regarded Turing Award; Elaine Weyuker of AT&T Labs – Research Technical Staff who co-chairs ACM's Committee on Women (ACM-W); and Reyyan Ayfer, department chair at Bilkent University and ACM-W Turkish Ambassador.

GHC, which brings the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront, is a program of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI) and co-presented with ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery). In 1997, Anita Borg founded the Institute, which was re-named at her death in 2003 in her honor.

Wendy Hall is the first person from outside North America to be elected President of ACM, and one of the first computer scientists to undertake serious research in multimedia and hypermedia. The influence of her work has significantly affected digital libraries, the development of the Semantic Web, and the emerging research discipline of Web Science. As a founding director along with Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Professor Nigel Shadbolt and Daniel J. Weitzner, of the Web Science Research Initiative, she helps shape science and engineering policy and education. On Friday, October 3, Hall is participating in a panel on European Women in Science and Engineering, and a session on ACM's Membership Gender Study and how to meet the dynamic needs of women in computing.

ACM Turing Award winner Fran Allen opens the conference with her keynote address on Thursday, October 2. She is the first woman to receive the Turing Award, widely considered the "Nobel Prize in Computing." As a scientist at IBM's T. J. Watson Research Center, her work on computer languages and their compilers has contributed to advances in the use of high performance computers for solving problems through techniques that we rely on today in business and technology. In 2000, IBM created the Frances E. Allen Women in Technology Mentoring Award, naming her as its first recipient. She first met Anita Borg in the early 1970s as a student in Allen's graduate course on Compilers at NYU. Helping to fulfill Anita Borg's dream of having many women contributing to all aspects of IT continues to inspire Allen's work.

ACM-W co-chair Elaine Weyuker conducts research at AT&T Labs, where she applies her ideas for software dependability and performance. Recipient of the Anita Borg Technical Leadership Award 2008, she will present a keynote address on the impact of her research on Friday, October 3. Also on Friday, Weyuker will participate in the "Business 101: Learning to Speak the Language of Business" panel, which introduces students and young researchers to strategies for aligning research with business goals. On Thursday, October 2, she joins a panel featuring leaders of four major organizations dedicated to advancing women in technology—ABI, ACM's Committee on Women in Computing (ACM-W), the Computing Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W), and the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT).

ACM-W Turkish Ambassador Reyyan Ayfer chairs the department of computer technology and programming of Turkey's Bilkent University, and has dedicated her career to helping meet the demand for expertise in programming. She is a recipient of the Anita Borg Change Agent Award 2008, which honors technical women from emerging countries who work in their community to advance women in technology. On Friday, October 3, she will participate in a panel with the two other winners of the Change Agent Award from Pakistan and Kenya to discuss how they are using technology across the globe. Later in the day, Reyyan joins the panel for European Women in Science and Engineering, and later she participates in a session presented by ACM-W Ambassadors on successful programs to attract women to information and communications technology.

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing attracts an international array of speakers and more than 88 sessions across seven tracks covering technology skills and career opportunities. The program also includes new investigator technical papers, Ph.D. forums, and highly anticipated achievement awards. For more information on technical sessions, networking opportunities, career development programs, and registration, go to

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

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