Frances Allen, an IBM Fellow Emeritus, won the Turing Award in Computer Science, becoming the first woman to receive the honor. The award, which has been presented by the Association for Computing Machinery since 1966, is often referred to as the “Nobel Prize of Computing.” Allen’s contributions to program optimization, parallel computing, and other industry endeavors granted her the association’s attention, and ultimately the prize.
A pioneer for women in computing, Allen spoke with CNET News about her experiences as a woman in the field of technology. She recalled her time as a manager at IBM, saying, “I remember walking into an auditorium which had many managers in it as IBM and I counted four women among well over 100 people in the room.” When asked what advice she wished she was given when she started her career, she responded, “Not to get so frustrated sometimes when you can’t get your way.”
Allen plans to create a scholarship fund for working class computer science students with the award money.