Anita Borg was most famously associated with the MECCA Communications and Information Systems project. She devised a method to generate complete address traces that are used for the analysis and design of high-speed memory systems.
She was appointed to the Presidential Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering, and Technology by President Clinton. She undertook the task of planning innovative measures to increase the participation of women in technology.
She established the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. The original goals for the institute, as stated on the institute's website, were threefold:
* To bring non-technical women into the design process * To encourage more women to become scientists * To help the industry, academia, and the government accelerate these changes.
Borg used to ascribe her love for math and science to her mother - "My mother taught me that math was fun, so I thought it could be."
A trained teacher, Fran earned a Masters degree in Math from the University of Michigan in 1957. Deeply in debt, Fran joined IBM and planned to stay only until her loans were paid off, but ended up working for the same company for her entire 45-year career.
In the eighties, Fran formed the Parallel TRANslation (PTRAN) group to study the issues involved in compiling for parallel machines.
Fran was appointed as an IBM Fellow in 1989, the first woman to receive this recognition.
In 2006, Fran Allen became the first woman to receive the Turing Award (awarded by the Association for Computing Machinery - ACM for contributions of a technical nature made to the computing community). She was given the award for contributions that fundamentally improved the performance of computer programs in solving problems, and accelerated the use of high performance computing.
An electrical engineering and computer science professor at MIT, Shafi Goldwasser is a two-time recipient of the Gödel Prize which is annually awarded for exceptional research in theoretical computer science.
She is widely known in the academic circles for her work on cryptography and information security. She is also involved in research on the Complexity Theory at MIT.
The concept of zero-knowledge proofs that probabilistically demonstrate the validity of an assertion without conveying any additional knowledge was devised by her. Zero-knowledge proofs are a major tool used for designing cryptographic protocols.