More women in computer science

That post about the Top 3 female computer scientists was more controversial, than i had thought. Maybe i shouldn’t have included Culver. Nevertheless i got an extended list of women from the comments. Thanks for your feedback!

Together with Alan Kay Adele Goldberg developed the Smalltalk programming system and was on the front of object-oriented programming. She currently works at her startup, developing intranet knowledge management software.

Monica LamMonica Lam is a professor at Stanford and an author of the third edition of the Dragon book. She supposably is one of the Top 50 most cited computer scientists. One of her current projects at moka5 is a portable image for secure computing called LivePC.

Radia Perlman invented the spanning tree algorithm for efficient and robust network routing. She is active in network and security research at Sun. (interview)

Together with Chuck Moore Elizabeth Rather developed and promoted the Forth programming language.

Barbara Liskov was the first women to get a Phd in computer science in the US. She currently works at the Programming Methodology Group at MIT.

Hedy LamarrHere comes the only women who isn’t really a computer scientist. Hedy Lamarr invented the concept of frequency hopping, leading to CDMA. Read her story! She flew from her first husband and became an actress. She shocked the audience with a nude scene and later got a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Irene Greif had a key role in the development of Lotus. She “brought a more user-friendly perspective to the field, bringing social scientists and computer scientists together for the first time“.

Pat Selinger built the first practical relational database at IBM. She innovated at cost-based query optimization for relational databases.

I didn’t include women like Rebecca Wirfs-Brock. They are programmers or hackers, but not computer scientists.

Published in: on September 7, 2007 at 3:48 pm  Comments (5)  

Top 3 female computer scientists

Computer science needs more women, but it’s not as there haven’t been some already. I proudly present the three most important female computer scientists.

Ada LovelaceIn 1815, a time when women were discouraged to participate in science, Ada Lovelace was born as the daughter of the poetic Lord Byron. Her mother got her homeschooled in math and science. When she was 27, she translated an article about Babbages Analytical Engine and added a description to compute Bernoulli numbers with it. The Right Honourable Augusta Ada, Countess of Lovelace wrote the first program in history.

Ten years later the “Enchantress of Numbers”, as Babbage called her, died from cancer. She envisioned the use of computers back then. Maybe Babbage could have promoted his machines through her writing skills, if she had lived longer. The computer revolution could have taken place a hundred years earlier.

A hundred years later a women called Grace Murray Hopper joined the US Navy. There she worked on some early computers and created the term “debugging”, when they found a moth in the computer relays. Shortly leaving the army she helped to build the first commercial computer, the UNIVAC. The Cobol programming language is mainly based on her philosophy to use english instead of machine language. “Amazing Grace”, as she was called sometimes, was a good presenter, often getting standing ovations after lectures.

Leah Culver planning her laptop etchingThen there is Leah Culver. Well, Leah didn’t make an important contribution to computer science apart from getting a degree. She just had this cool idea to laser-etch her laptop and got declared the sexiest geek of 2006, what gives me the possibility to catch you with a sexy picture.

The first women to win the Turing Award (the Nobel prize of computer science) is Frances Allen. “Fran” is a pioneer in the field of optimzing compilers. Her current title is IBM Fellow Emerita, “a position at IBM, which doesn’t require or allow any useful work, in terms of strategies in the company’s current business.”

Do you agree with my placement? Whom would you put at place four and five?

Update: more women in computer science

Published in: on September 6, 2007 at 3:04 pm  Comments (19)