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Famous Women in Computer Science

This is based off of our "Famous Women in Computer Science" list, launched in conjunction with International Women's Day 2012. We hope you enjoy these inspirational role models!

Famous Women in Computer Science

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Lixia Zhang, Professor of Computer Science, UCLA, and Leader of the UCLA Computer Science Department’s Internet Research Lab (IRL), 2009 IEEE Internet Award, Fellow ACM 2006, Fellow IEEE 2006

Lixia Zhang, PhD '89 | MIT Technology Review

Kathy Yelick, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences: University of California at Berkeley, and Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences and the Director of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Member National Academies committee on Sustaining Growth in Computing Performance

Homepage for Kathy Yelick

Jane Xu, Distinguished Engineer of IBM Watson Research, CTO of IBM China Systems and Technology Labs, WITI Hall of Fame 2008

Sophie Wilson, designed the Acorn Microcomputer. Fellow of the Computer History Museum (2012)

Sophie Wilson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mary Allen Wilkes computer programmer; First person to use a computer in a private home and the first developer of an operating system (LAP) for the first minicomputer (LINC)

  • Khadiza Rahaman
    Khadiza Rahaman


Jennifer Widom, Chair Computer Science Department Stanford University where she has worked on nontraditional data management, ACM Fellow 2005, Fletcher Jones Professor in Computer Science, Member National Academy of Engineering, Member American Academy of Arts & Sciences, ACM SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award in 2007, Guggenheim Fellow 2000

Elaine Weyuker, AT Fellow at Bell Labs for research in software metrics and testing, Member National Academy of Engineering, Fellow IEEE 2003, ACM Fellow 1997, 2008 Anita Borg Institute Technical Leadership Award, ACM 2010 Presidential Award for “her tireless efforts in the development and growth of the ACM Women’s Council”

Dana Ulery, computer scientist; first female engineer at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, developing real-time tracking systems using a North American Aviation Recomp II, 40-bit word size computer

Dana Ulery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Daniela Rus, Professor, EECS department: MIT, Co-directs the CSAIL Center for Robotics, Fellow IEEE 2010, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence: Fellow (2009), MacArthur Foundation: MacArthur Fellows Program (2002), Sloan Foundation: Research Fellowship (1998), NSF: Career Award (1996)

Daniela Rus | MIT CSAIL

Martha Pollack, Vice Provost for Academic and Budgetary Affairs, and Professor of Information, and Professor of Computer Science & Engineering: University of Michigan, Served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, as President of AAAI ACM Fellow 2011, Fellow AAAS 2012, Elected Fellow American Association for Artificial Intelligence 1996, National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award 1992

Linda Petzold, Professor Mechanical & Environmental Engineering UC Santa Barbara, Leader UCSB Computational Science and Engineering Research Group, ACM Fellow 2011, UCSB Faculty Research Lecturer 2011, Fellow ASME 2008, Fellow AAAS 2005, Member National Academy of Engineering 2004

Prof. Nancy Lynch, Professor Massachusetts Institute of Technology: NEC Professor of Software Science and Engineering in the EECS department and heads the Theory of Distributed Systems research group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, ACM Fellow 1997, Dijkstra Prize 2007, Member National Academy of Engineering

Henrietta Swan Leavitt, in 1893, joins the Harvard computers, a group of women engaged in the production of astronomical data at Harvard; she is instrumental in discovery of the cepheid variable stars, which were evidence for the expansion of the universe.

Henrietta Swan Leavitt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Duy-Loan Le, Senior Fellow, Texas Instruments (1st woman and 1st Asian-American TI Senior Fellow), WITI Hall of Fame 2001, Vietnamese American National Gala Golden Torch Award 2006, ABI Women of Vision Award for Leadership 2007, helped establish the Sunflower Mission, a non-profit educational organization for poor children of Vietnam

Sister Mary Kenneth Keller thought to be the first woman to earn a Ph.D. degree in computer science. Sister Keller entered the Catholic religious order, Sisters of Charity in 1932. Her 1965 Ph.D. degree degree in computer science was from the University of Wisconsin. At Dartmouth, she contributed to the development of BASIC. She founded the Computer Science Department Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa and acted as its chair for 20 years. Sister Keller authored four books on computer science.

The Ada Project
  • Jane Mooney
    Jane Mooney

    I was lucky enough to have her as a teacher at Clarke. She was an amazing woman!

Anita Katherine Jones, Director, U.S. Defense Research and Engineering 1993-1997, Augusta Ada Lovelace Award: ACM 2004, CRA's Service Award, U.S. Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Award, U.S. Department of Defense Award for Distinguished Public Service. The U.S. Navy has named a seamount in the North Pacific Ocean (51° 25’ N and 159° 10’ W) for her, Member of the National Academy of Engineering and the Council on Foreign Relations, Fellow IEEE 1997, ACM Fellow 1996

Anita K. Jones - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kristina Johnson, optoelectronic processing systems and liquid crystal devices, IEEE Fellow 2003, ABI Women of Vision Award for Leadership 2010, US Under Secretary for Energy 2009-2010, SWE Achievement Award 2004

Grete Hermann published the foundational paper for computerized algebra

Susan Graham, Pehong Chen Distinguished Prof., Comp. Sci, UC Berkeley, ACM Fellow 1994, Member National Academy of Engineering, Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Founding editor-in-chief of ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems. ACM SIGPLAN Career Programming Language Achievement Award (2000), ACM Distinguished Service Award (2006), Harvard Medal (2008), IEEE von Neumann Medal (2009), Berkeley Citation (2009)

Deborah Estrin, Professor of Computer Science UCLA, pioneer in the field of embedded network sensing and is the director of the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS) at UCLA, Fellow IEEE 2004, ACM Fellow 2000, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2007 Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision Award for Innovation, WITI Hall of Fame 2008

Deborah Estrin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Susan Eggers, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering – University of Washington, co-developed the first commercially viable multithreaded architecture: Simultaneous Multithreading, Fellow IEEE 2003, ACM Fellow 2002, winner of the 2010 ISCA “test-of-time” award, 1989 IBM Faculty Development Award, 1990 NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, 1994 Microsoft Professorship in Computer Science and Engineering, 2009 the ACM-W Athena Lecturer, Member of the National Academy of Engineering

Cynthia Dwork, Distinguished scientist at Microsoft Research who works on distributed computing, cryptography, and e-mail spam prevention, Dijkstra Prize 2007, Fellow American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) 2008, Member National Academy of Engineering 2008

Ruth Davis, Santa Clara University Professor, IEEE Senior Member 1993, ACM Distinguished Member 2006

Weili Dai, Co-founder in 1995 Marvell Technology Group (semiconductor company), now Marvell’s Vice President and General Manager of Communications and Consumer Business

Fran Berman, VP for Research and Prof. of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, ACM Fellow 2000, inaugural recipient of the ACM/IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy Award for “influential leadership in the design, development, and deployment of national-scale cyberinfrastructure” 2009, Former Professor in the UC San Diego Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering, 2001-2009 Director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center. Recognized by the Library of Congress as a “Digital Preservation Pioneer”