This year the IEEE Computer Society’s Computer Pioneer Awards were given to two women engineers. Life Fellow Lynn Conway was cited for contributions to superscalar architecture and for the innovation and widespread teaching of simplified very-large-scale integration design methods. Jean Sammet received the award for her contributions to early programming languages.
Conway, now a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, worked on superscalar computer architecture in the mid-1960s while at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center, in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. She participated in the center’s Advanced Computing Systems project, during which she developed multiple-issue dynamic instruction scheduling, a mechanism for providing a look-ahead capability that enables the execution of programming instructions to be initiated out of sequence.
In 1973 she joined Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center, in California, where she researched scalable metal-oxide semiconductor design rules and simplified methods for silicon chip design.
She co-authored Introduction to VLSI Systems [Addison-Wesley, 1979], noted for launching a worldwide revolution in VLSI system design.
Sammet, now retired, joined IBM’s Data Systems Division, in Boston, in 1961. She managed the division’s Advanced Programming Center, where she developed the Formula Manipulation Compiler (FORMAC) programming language in 1962. FORMAC was the first widely used language for symbolic mathematical computation.
The IEEE Computer Society honored five other IEEE and Computer Society members with its Technical Achievement Awards for outstanding and innovative contributions to the fields of computer and information science and engineering or computer technology, usually within the past 10 years but not more than 15 years. Fellow Venu Govindaraju was cited for biometrics systems, Senior Member Tyrone Grandison for secure and private data management, Senior Member Eunice Santos for computational social network systems, Senior Member Ashok N. Srivastava for intelligent information systems, and Fellow Hongjiang Zhang for multimedia content analysis systems.
Govindaraju is a professor of computer science and engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 2003 he founded the university’s Center for Unified Biometrics and Sensors in Amherst, N.Y.
Grandison is the program manager for Core Healthcare Services in the Healthcare Transformation group of IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center, in Hawthorne, N.Y. He applies technology to protect patients’ privacy and, by integrating patient information from multiple sources, to enable physicians to make better decisions. Grandison is also a member of the IEEE Communications Society.
Chair of the University of Texas at El Paso’s Department of Computer Science, Santos researches large-scale distributed processing, computational modeling, complex adaptive systems, and human modeling with applications for the biological, physical, and social sciences. She is director of the university’s National Center for Border Security and Immigration and its Center for Defense Systems Research. She also belongs to the IEEE Computational Intelligence and Systems, Man, and Cybernetics societies and IEEE Women in Engineering.
Srivastava is the principal investigator for the Integrated Vehicle Health Management research project at NASA Ames Research Center, in Moffett Field, Calif. His research focuses on the development of data-mining algorithms for anomaly detection in massive data streams, kernel methods in machine learning, and text-mining algorithms. He is leader of the center’s Intelligent Data Understanding group, which researches and develops advanced machine learning and data-mining algorithms in support of NASA missions. He performs data-mining research to study global climate processes and to help characterize the large-scale structure of the universe. He is also a member of the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics societies.
Zhang is managing director of the Microsoft Advanced Technology Center in Beijing, where he works on Web service, unified communications, gaming, servers, and developer tools. He is chief technology officer for the Microsoft China Research and Development Group, also in Beijing, helping to chart the company’s R&D agenda by identifying the needs of emerging markets as well as developing products for them. He is also a member of the IEEE Circuits and Systems, and Signal Processing societies.
The IEEE Computer Society Computer Entrepreneur Award honored Cisco cofounders Leonard Bosack, an IEEE member, and Sandy Lerner. They received the award “for founding Cisco, and pioneering and advancing the commercialization of routing technology and the profound changes this technology enabled in the computer industry.”
The two started Cisco in 1984, commercializing wide-area-network technology that connects geographically disparate computers over a multiprotocol router system.
Bosack is now the CEO of XKL, a telecommunications engineering company in Kirkland, Wash. He is working on creating fiber-optic systems that can achieve unprecedented data transmission latency speeds. He is a member of the IEEE Computer Society.
Lerner now runs Ayrshire Farm, in Virginia. The operation comprises a certified organic and humane farm operation, a restaurant, and a butcher shop.