Forty-three years later, she received an honorary doctorate at Northwestern’s 153rd commencement on June 17 for providing the basis for virtually every software program underpinning today’s society. After the award was announced, her husband came across a comment on a website that asked why Liskov was getting an award for something everyone already knew. In spring 1968, Barbara Liskov became one of the first women in the United States to receive a PhD in computer science. Profile. She wanted to organize software so that she could exercise control over it, while also making sense of its complexity. We were all buddies. Why is this person notable and influential? [A male colleague] did it instead.” That was total nonsense. I wrote a program to play chess endgames. When she was still a young professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she led the team that created the first programming language that did not rely on goto statements. We can hope we mature. Engineers! Maybe I was lucky. BL: I grew up in San Francisco. “The Architect of Modern Algorithms” (Quanta) is a recently popular link among some computer nerds on Facebook (all of the sharers, when I last checked, identified as older white males): Barbara Liskov pioneered the modern approach to writing code. One of the first women in the US to earn a PhD in computer science, Liskov was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, the eldest of four siblings. Math is really bad. Societies always have trouble dealing with something new. You see that attitude has continued. MA. That’s not how it is now. I was encouraged to do well in school. John suggested this topic because I didn’t play chess. At Stanford, Huberman focused on artificial intelligence, working closely with John McCarthy, one of the pioneers of the field. Founded in 1958, Mitre was originally established to coordinate research for the US Air Force’s SAGE project. Part of this grew out of an attitude in the ’80s. Explore our academic departments, centers, and institutes that provide many opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration. They went into it without adding safeguards. I’m worried about the divorced couple in which the husband publishes slander about the wife, including information about where she lives. Today is April 20th, 2016. Her research career has been devoted chiefly to developing programming languages and methodologies for distributed computing. You need to organize the code by breaking it into pieces. There was another comment — one I never tell about — that said, “Oh, she didn’t do that work. Title IX wasn’t a law yet, but pressure was building. Another colleague had a pinup in his office. They talked about a young woman who did so well because she married a professor! We have a huge set of problems, including fake news and security issues. By the time Barbara Liskov earned her doctorate in computer science from Stanford University in 1968, she envied electrical engineers because they worked with hardware connected by wires. Barbara Liskov Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Barbara Liskov pioneered the modern approach to writing code. I didn’t realize then that some people in my department had my back. In 2008, Liskov won the Turing Award — often called the Nobel Prize of computing — for “contributions to practical and theoretical foundations of programming language and system design, especially related to data abstraction, fault tolerance, and distributed computing.”. Women are socialized to please. But that’s the mystery: Why are some women able to persevere? I don’t know that my mother overtly encouraged me, but she didn’t get in my face and say, “Oh no, this is a bad thing to do.” I took all my math and science courses, which girls were not encouraged to do. She is widely recognized for her work in programming languages, programming methodology, and distributed systems. Barbara Liskov; Ask me a question. In 1963, Huberman decided to reapply to graduate schools, this time in computer science. There were a number of distinguished women at MIT who weren’t on the faculty. That’s the art of design. The interview has been condensed and edited for clarity. Explore majors, minors, student groups, research, enrichment, and support opportunities. It bypasses inefficiencies and bugs. Things were changing. “One advantage to being in the field so early was that great problems were sitting there. My husband was. They were clueless. I did notice that male colleagues, like Raj Reddy, who was a friend of mine, were recruited for academic positions. In 2008, she won the Turing Award for her invention of the Liskov substitution principle, one of only three women to win that award so far (the other two are Fran Allen and Shafi Goldwasser). That architecture naturally allowed them to break up problems and divide them into modules, an approach that gave them more control since it permitted them to reason independently about discrete components. At Berkeley, I was one of one or two women in classes of 100. Top Influential Computer Scientists Today. No, it was pragmatism, without any understanding of where we’d end up. All you had to do was jump on them,” said Liskov. MA. I was also invited to apply to Berkeley. In the 10 years before I was head of computer science at MIT, the department identified only one woman worth hiring.
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