ACM Women's Contributions a Fitting Tribute to Ada Lovelace
Throughout its history, ACM has celebrated the groundbreaking work of women innovators through its prestigious awards program, and advocated for the full engagement of women in computing through a wide range of programs and services. In honor of Ada Lovelace’s birthday on October 9, this series is designed to honor the women who have made formative developments in the field of computing, and to celebrate contemporary women who are shaping the world of tomorrow.
Fran Allen was the first woman to receive the ACM A.M. Turing Award. She received the award in 2006 for contributions that fundamentally improved the performance of computer programs in solving problems, and accelerated the use of high performance computing. She was the first woman to receive the honor, and the first woman to be named an IBM Fellow. She joined IBM as a programmer in 1957, where she taught incoming employees the basics of Fortran.
Barbara Liskov received the 2008 ACM A.M. Turing Award for her foundational innovations to designing and building the pervasive computer system designs that power daily life. She revolutionized the programming field with groundbreaking research that underpins virtually every modern computer application used by both consumers and businesses. Liskov is one of the first US women to be awarded a PhD from a computer science department.
Shafi Goldwasser received the 2012 ACM A.M. Turing Award (with Silvio Micali) for contributions to cryptography. Working with Micali, she pioneered the field of provable security, which laid the mathematical foundations for modern cryptography, addressing important practical problems such as the protection of data from being viewed or modified. Among other honors, Goldwasser was named an ACM Athena Lecturer.
Dina Katabi received the 2017 ACM Prize in Computing for creative contributions to wireless systems. She and her team pioneered the use of wireless signals in applications that can sense humans behind walls, determine their movements and even surmise their emotional states. She also received the 2012 Grace Murray Hopper Award (with Martin Casado) and was named an ACM Fellow.
Amanda Randles received the 2017 ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award for developing HARVEY, a massively parallel circulatory simulation code capable of modeling the full human arterial system at subcellular resolution and fostering discoveries that will serve as a basis for improving the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of human diseases.
Andrea Goldsmith was named 2018-2019 ACM Athena Lecturer for her contributions to the theory and practice of adaptive wireless communications, and for the successful transfer of research to commercial technology. She introduced innovative approaches to the design, analysis and performance limits of wireless systems and networks, and helped develop technologies used in cellular devices, and Wi-Fi standards for wireless local area networks.
Susan Eggers is the first woman to receive the ACM - IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly Award. She was cited for outstanding contributions to simultaneous multithreaded processor architectures and multiprocessor sharing and coherency. Widely recognized as one of the leading computer architects in the field, Eggers was also named a 2009-2010 ACM Athena Lecturer and a 2002 ACM Fellow.
Jan Cuny received the 2017 ACM Distinguished Service Award for the establishment and tireless promotion of projects that have nationally transformed computer science education by increasing and diversifying access to high-quality CS education. She received the 2006 ACM Presidential Award for showing us how to help underserved populations as a computer scientist, a parent, a teacher, a civil servant, and as a citizen.
Judith Gal-Ezer received the 2017 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award for her central role in developing a groundbreaking high school computer-science curriculum; her outstanding computer science education research; and her extensive service to the education community. Her approach moved away from conventional pedagogies, which prioritized coding, to emphasizing the underlying ideas of computer science.
Margaret Boden received the 2017 ACM – AAAI Allen Newell Award for her contributions to the philosophy of cognitive science, particularly in the cognitive study of human creativity, and to its historiography. For four decades, Boden has been one of the world’s premiere thought leaders on the intersection of artificial intelligence, cognitive science and the humanities.
Lydia E. Kavraki of Rice University was the 2017-2018 Athena Lecturer, cited for the invention of randomized motion-planning algorithms in robotics and the development of robotics-inspired methods for bioinformatics and biomedicine. She also received the 2000 ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award, and was named an ACM Fellow in 2010.
Chris Stephenson, Head of Computer Science Education Programs at Google Inc., received the 2016 ACM Presidential Award for creating the Computer Science Teachers Association, an international organization dedicated to supporting teachers and pursuing excellence in CS education for K-12 students.
Valerie Barr received recognition from ACM for broadening the impact of ACM-W, increasing its effectiveness in supporting women in computing worldwide, and encouraging participation in ACM. Barr led ACM-W, ACM's Council on Women in Computing, from 2012 to 2017 and founded a scholarship program for students to attend conferences.
ACM's Council on Women (ACM-W) has recognized Jennifer Rexford of Princeton University for her contributions to data networking. Her innovations in advancing network efficiency have greatly enhanced the stability and flow of Internet transmissions, and make data networks easier to design, understand and manage. The Athena Lecturer is invited to present a lecture at an ACM event.
Kathy Yelick received the 2015 ACM/IEEE Computer Society Ken Kennedy Award for innovative research contributions to parallel computing languages. She also received the and the 2013-2014 ACM Athena Lecturer Award for for contributions to improving fundamental understanding and practice of parallel programming.
Sylvia Ratnasamy received the 2014 Grace Murray Hopper Award for her contributions to the first efficient design for distributed hash tables (DHT), a critical element in large-scale distributed and peer-to-peer computing systems. The Hopper Award recognizes the outstanding young computer professional of the year.
Jennifer Widom received the 2015-2016 Athena Lecturer Award for pioneering foundations, architecture, and applications of database systems. The award celebrates women researchers who have made fundamental contributions to computer science. Widom was also named a 2005 ACM Fellow.
Jeannette Wing received the 2014 Distinguished Service Award for helping the computing community articulate the promise of computation to broad audiences. She positioned the field to communicate the core concepts of computing in elegant and easily understood ways, and championed its introduction in numerous national and international venues. She is also an ACM Fellow.
Robin Murphy received the 2014 Eugene L. Lawler Award for pioneering work in humanitarian disaster response through search and rescue robotics, to the benefit of both survivors and responders. The biannual Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution through the use of computing technology.
As the first ACM President from outside North America, Professor Dame Wendy Hall had a vision of ACM as an international organization and developed a success path to achieve this vision. Her dedication to having ACM a global organization resulted in the development of ACM Europe, ACM India and ACM China Councils, which continue to thrive. She also focused on education of the younger CS generations and promoting gender diversity.
Susan T. Dumais was named 2014-2015 ACM Athena Lecturer for contributions to algorithms and interfaces for interactive information retrieval that make it easier for people to find, use and make sense of information. The author of more than 200 articles on information science, human-computer interaction, and cognitive science, Dumais holds several patents on novel retrieval algorithms and interfaces. She is also an ACM Fellow.
ACM Distinguished Member Susan Rodger received the 2013 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award for her outstanding contributions to the teaching of computer science theory, to the development of computer science education in primary and secondary schools, and to service on behalf of the computer science education community.
Mary Lou Soffa received the 2012 ACM-IEEE CS Ken Kennedy Award for contributions to compiler technology and software engineering, exemplary service to the profession, and life-long dedication to mentoring and improving diversity in computing. She was also named an ACM Fellow for development and enhancement of code improving transformations and design of program analysis algorithms for use in compilers and software engineering tools.
Nancy Lynch was named the 2012-2013 ACM Athena Lecturer. She delivered her lecture at the 2013 joint meeting of the Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC) and the Symposium on Parallel Algorithms and Architectures (SPAA). Lynch was also named a 1997 ACM Fellow for contributions to the theory of distributed computing, including mathematical models and proof techniques, algorithms and impossiblity results.
Stephanie Forrest received the 2011 ACM – AAAI Allen Newell Award for fundamental, paradigm-changing contributions to computer science and biological sciences, most notably bringing together models of immune systems, automated diversity, and network epidemiology, with significant impact on real computer and biological systems research and practice. Her contributions have also impacted on biology.
Susan L. Graham received the 2011 ACM-IEEE CS Ken Kennedy Award for foundational compilation algorithms and programming tools; research and discipline leadership; and exceptional mentoring. She also received the 2006 ACM Distinguished Service Award For service to the computing community, especially for service on national committees. Graham was the founding editor of ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems.
Judith S. Olson's Athena Lecture was delivered at the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), February 11-15, 2012, in Seattle, Washington. Olson was also named a 2008 ACM Fellow for contributions to human-computer interaction and computer-supported cooperative work.
Barbara Ericson received the 2013 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award (along with Mark Guzdial) for contributions to computing education, through the Media Computation (MediaComp) approach that they have created, supported, and disseminated, and its impact on broadening participation in computing. She also led efforts in Georgia to create a high school computer science curriculum.
Elaine Weyuker received the 2010 ACM Presidential Award for her tireless efforts in the development and growth of ACM-W. As Chair of ACM-W, she built a network of enthusiastic volunteers to help propel ACM-W forward, and reshaped it from a grassroots network to a professional community within ACM. Weyuker was also named an ACM Fellow for contributions to software engineering, specifically testing and metrics, and the theory of computation.
Mary Jane Irwin's Athena Lecture took place June 22, 2010, at the 37th International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA 2010) in Saint-Malo, France. She also received the 2005 ACM Distinguished Service Award for wide-ranging service to the computing community, especially in areas related to professional society leadership and governance.
Francine Berman received the 2009 ACM-IEEE CS Ken Kennedy Award for her influential leadership in the design, development and deployment of national-scale cyberinfrastructure, her inspiring work as a teacher and mentor, and her exemplary service to the high performance community. She was also named an ACM Fellow for pioneering work in application scheduling for parallel distributed computing.
Barbara J. Grosz received the 2008 ACM – AAAI Allen Newell Award for fundamental contributions to research in natural language processing and in multi-agent systems, for her leadership in the field of artificial intelligence, and for her role in the establishment and leadership of interdisciplinary institutions. She was also named an ACM Fellow for contributions to the study of human discourse.
Corinna Cortes received the 2008 ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award (with Vladimir Vapnik) for the development of Support Vector Machines, a highly effective algorithm for classification and related machine learning problems. The algorithm and its variants have been used in practical applications such as handwriting recognition, speech synthesis, medical diagnosis, protein structure prediction, face detection, and weather forecasting.
Telle Whitney was recognized for significant service to the computing community, by founding and leading initiatives and institutes that have positively impacted the professional careers of women in computing. She served as Secretary-Treasurer of ACM, and (with Anita Borg) founded the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, the premier conference for supporting and mentoring technical women.
Barbara Gershon Ryder received the 2008 ACM Presidential Award for chairing two Federated Computing Research Conferences, as well as for work on SIGPLAN's History of Programming Languages conferences. She was also named an ACM Fellow for seminal contributions to the theoretical foundations and empirical investigation of interprocedural compile-time analyses, especially for languages with general-purpose pointers.
Daphne Koller received the very first ACM Prize in Computing (then known as the ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences) for her work on combining relational logic and probability that allows probabilistic reasoning to be applied to applications including robotics, economics, and biology. A lecture she gave at IJCAI 2001 established a new knowledge representation paradigm, "relational probabilistic models," as a major research area in AI.
Karen Sparck-Jones videotaped her Athena Lecture shortly before her death in April 2007; the lecture was shown at the 30th Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference later that year. Sparck-Jones also received the 2006 ACM-AAAI Allen Newell Award for seminal contributions to the field of information retrieval, and for contributions bridging information retrieval and computational linguistics.
Deborah Estrin was the inaugural Athena Lecturer. She delivered her lecture at MobiCom 2006. She was also named an ACM Fellow for significant contributions to the design of scalable internet protocols, and for service to the networking community. Estrin was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2018 for designing open-source platforms that leverage mobile devices and data to address socio-technological challenges such as personal health management.
Ruzena R. Bajcsy received the 2001 ACM-AAAI Allen Newell Award for outstanding research contributions in several areas including computational anatomy and active sensing and perception, resulting in major impacts in robotics, computer vision, and artificial intelligence. She also received the 2003 ACM Distinguished Service Award for contributions to computer science, information technology and societal systems as a researcher, educator and administrator.
Nell B. Dale received the 2001 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award for outstanding contributions to computer science education through her strong leadership, influential research in pedagogy, and many widely-used textbooks. She was also named a 2009 ACM Fellow for distinguished service to ACM and her impact on computing education.
Barbara B. Simons received recognition from ACM for nearly two decades of outstanding work on computing and public policy, including service as President and Secretary of ACM; as Chair of ACM's Committee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights; and as founding Chair and subsequent Co-chair of ACM's US Public Policy Committee. She also was named a 1994 ACM Fellow.
Anita Borg was recognized for her role in creating and promoting an active, international community for women in computing. Along with Telle Whitney, she founded the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. For this and for her contributions to fault-tolerant computing and memory system performance measurement, as well as her support of women in computing with her creation of "Systers," she was named a 1996 ACM Fellow.
Nancy Leveson received the 1999 ACM-AAAI Allen Newell Award for pioneering and developing the interdisciplinary field of software safety, developing innovative approaches to ensuring that computers do not contribute to loss of life and property. She also was named a 1995 ACM Fellow for founding the field of software safety and developing safety techniques that are used by industry and other researchers worldwide.
Doris Lidtke was recognized for service to the computing community, especially in areas related to computer science education. She served on ACM's Special Interest Group and Education boards. Lidtke joined Towson University in 1968 as an assistant professor of computer science and became its first CS instructor. She continues to be recognized as an expert in programming languages, software engineering, social and ethical issues, and computer science education.
Lorraine Borman received the 1992 Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award for her diligent work and commitment to the development and growth of SIGCHI and for her creative spark and skilled workmanship which guided the research and publication of the DataPlan Committee reports. She was also named a 1994 ACM Fellow.
Joyce Currie Little received the Distinguished Service Award and was named a 1994 ACM Fellow for significant contributions to curriculum development, certification standards, vocational education and professional ethics. She received the 2006 ACM SIGCSE Award for Lifetime Service to the Computer Science Education Community for her contributions to computing in two-year colleges, certification, and professional development.
Jean E. Sammet received the Distinguished Service Award and was named a 1994 ACM Fellow for dedicated, tireless and dynamic leadership in service to ACM and the computing community, and for advancing the art and science of computer programming languages and recording its history. She was the first female president of ACM, from 1974 to 1976, and served as Chair of SIGPLAN. Sammet was one of the developers of the influential programming language COBOL.
Grace Murray Hopper received the Distinguished Service Award For her wide-ranging, unstinting participation in the computing industry and its software technology, in government, and in the promotion of the profession. Each year ACM presents an award named after her to an outstanding early-career computing professional. A compiler she developed converted English terms into machine code that could be understood by computers, which later led to work on COBOL.