2006 Turing award: ACM for the first time laureates female engineer

img ACM Logo After more than 40 years of existence the Turing Award aka the “Nobel Prize in Computing” for the first time today was awarded to a female engineer.

Frances E. Allen, received the USD 100,000 price for “…pioneering contributions to the theory and practice of optimizing compiler techniques that laid the foundation for modern optimizing compilers and automatic parallel execution…” .

Frances E. Allen has been working in the field of computing and Information Technology since the days of punch cards and is currently with the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center.


“…Allen, an IBM Fellow Emerita at the T.J. Watson Research Center, made fundamental contributions to the theory and practice of program optimization, which translates the users’ problem-solving language statements into more efficient sequences of computer instructions. Her contributions also greatly extended earlier work in automatic program parallelization, which enables programs to use multiple processors simultaneously in order to obtain faster results. These techniques have made it possible to achieve high performance from computers while programming them in languages suitable to applications. They have contributed to advances in the use of high performance computers for solving problems such as weather forecasting, DNA matching, and national security functions.

“Fran Allen’s work has led to remarkable advances in compiler design and machine architecture that are at the foundation of modern high-performance computing,” said Ruzena Bajcsy, Chair of ACM’s Turing Award Committee…

Read the full press release at the ACM web site.

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