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It's A Girl: Part II

Ok I promise to kick this Part II thing soon but I really do have another cool "It's A Girl" thing.

Frances E. Allen just became the first women to receive one of the most prestigious prizes in computing, the Association of Computing Machineries' Turing Award. Her work, at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center, was on techniques for optimizing the performance of compilers.

I have several personal reasons for being very glad she won. Many years ago, as an undergraduate (hey I told you it was many years ago). I worked at Watson Research Center designing and programming CAI (computer aided instruction) physics labs using Coursewriter, a language about five people in the world remember. Sorry I digress

Anyway Ms. Allen, famous even in those days, went out of her way to meet and encourage me, a college student who was just working there for the summers. I very much appreciated it and I know she did the same thing for many, many others.

I am also grateful to her for helping to develop the computer language FORTRAN, the language I used to fulfill my PhD foreign language requirement. If I had had to use French or Spanish I would probably still be working on the degree.

Congratulations Frances Allen, and merci!