PALO ALTO, CA, August 5, 2014 — The Anita Borg Institute (ABI), a non-profit organization focused on advancing women in computing, today announced the winners of the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration ABIE Awards. Each year, the Grace Hoper Celebration ABIE Awards give the technology community the opportunity to honor female leaders in the categories of technical leadership, social impact, international change agent, innovative teaching practices, and faculty member emerging leadership.
ABI will celebrate the ABIE Award winners at the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, to be held at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona on October 8-10.
“The ABIE Awards highlight the inspiring stories and extraordinary contributions of women in technology at the largest gathering of technical women in the world,” said Telle Whitney, ABI’s president and CEO. “Women in technology are making great strides in their research and their impact in their respective fields and we are proud to celebrate these women and acknowledge their achievements at our Grace Hopper Celebration this year.”
The winners are nominated by their peers, and chosen by a panel of fellow technologists and past ABIE Award winners based on their extraordinary commitment to excellence, progress, and creative problem-solving. The GHC 2014 ABIE Award Winners in their respective categories include:
The Technical Leadership ABIE Award recognizes women technologists who demonstrate leadership through their contributions to technology and achievements in increasing the impact of women on technology. Dr. Anne Condon has made significant research contributions in computational complexity and bio-molecular computing. She is considered the world’s leading expert on DNA and RNA sequence design, and among the leading figures in DNA and RNA folding prediction. She has increased the numbers and success of women in computing research in the U.S. and Canada, both through flagship projects of CRA-W and through her own research supervision and mentoring.
Dr. Anne Condon is Professor and Head of the Department of Computer Science at U. British Columbia. Her research in computational complexity and algorithms currently focuses on molecular programming. Anne held the NSERC/General Motors Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, and received the Computing Research Association’s Habermann Award for outstanding contributions aimed at increasing the numbers and successes of women in computing research.
She is an ACM Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Social Impact ABIE Award Winner – underwritten by RMS
The Social Impact ABIE Award recognizes individuals who have made a positive impact on women, technology, and society. Ruthe Farmer has focused her efforts on increasing girls’ participation in technology and engineering since 2001. She is Chief Strategy & Growth Officer at the National Center for Women & IT (NCWIT) and directs the NCWIT K-12 Alliance.
Ruthe leads strategy and development at NCWIT and advocates nationally for young women in computing and K-12 computer science education access. She led the national scale-up of the Aspirations in Computing talent pipeline initiative from a regional program serving just 34 young women in 2008 to a full pipeline talent development program serving over 2500 girls from middle school through college in 2014 and representing all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
Change Agent ABIE Awards Winners – underwritten by Google
The Change Agent ABIE Awards recognize international women who have created opportunities for girls and women in technology abroad.
• Barbara Birungi, Director of Hive Colab in Uganda is also the founder and Director of WITU (Women In Technology Uganda). Barbara Birungi founded WITU in 2010 to encourage, inspire and guide women in the tech field through networking, training, mentoring and partnering to increase the number of women in tech, reduce the gender gap, and improve the livelihoods of women in Uganda. WITU has taught over 500 young girls and contributed to more than 100 women finding tech jobs. Barbara is also the executive director of Hive Colab in Uganda, a business accelerator and incubator for East African Startups whose mission is to create a collaborative environment that promotes experimentation of scalable ideas with positive social and economic returns.
• Durdana Habib, senior faculty member at the School of Electrical Engineering, National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences, Islamabad, Pakistan has motivated female engineering students to take up engineering careers. She participated as an active volunteer in Women in Technology, a Task Force of the Technology Resource Mobilization unit under the Ministry of Science & Technology, Pakistan. She has involved female faculty as well as professionals across public and private sector through the Women’s Forum, Interactive talks and WIE sessions at IEEE student Congresses. She is a mentor of the Pakistan Women’s Forum (PWF) and is currently the Chair of the WIE Affinity Group, IEEE, Islamabad Section.
A. Richard Newton Educator ABIE Award Winner – underwritten by Oracle Academy
The A. Richard Newton Educator ABIE Award recognizes educators for developing innovative teaching practices and approaches that attract girls and women to computing, engineering, and math. Dr. Ayanna Howard is the Motorola Foundation Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology. In 2003, she was named to the MIT Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35. In 2008, she received worldwide attention for her SnoMote robots, designed to study the impact of global warming on the Antarctic iceshelfs. Ayanna is a robotics researcher, teacher, and mentor, who has engaged hundreds of female students in computing, engineering, and science through numerous K-12 outreach programs and summer camps.
Denice Denton Emerging Leader ABIE Award Winner – underwritten by Microsoft
The Denice Denton Emerging Leader ABIE Award recognizes a junior faculty member for high-quality research and significant positive impact on diversity. Thamar Solorio is Assistant Professor, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
An accomplished researcher, she is also an advocate for minorities in STEM fields. Thamar has led and contributed to a number of initiatives and outreach activities to increase the numbers of females and Hispanic students entering and completing a degree in computer science. She is currently redesigning a freshman‐level computer science course at UAB with the goal of improving the learning experience of students with different backgrounds as well as from minority groups.
GHC is the largest gathering of women technologists in the world. The theme of GHC this year is “Everyone. Everywhere.” and focuses on the ubiquity of computing in society today, and the need to include diverse groups in the innovation process. The event features sessions on cutting edge research, professional development, and technical innovation. This year’s distinguished speakers include Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft; Shafi Goldwasser, RSA Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT; Arati Prabhakar, Director of DARPA and Maria Klawe, President of Harvey Mudd College
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About the Anita Borg Institute (ABI)
The Anita Borg Institute (ABI) connects, inspires, and guides women in computing and organizations that view technology innovation as a strategic imperative. Founded in 1997 by computer scientist Anita Borg, our reach extends to more than 53 countries. We believe technology innovation powers the global economy, and that women are crucial to building technology the world needs. As a social enterprise, we recognize women making positive contributions, and advise organizations on how to improve performance by building more inclusive teams. ABI partners include: Cisco, Google, HP, Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, Amazon, CA Technologies, Dell, Dropbox, eBay, Facebook, First Republic Bank, IBM, Intel, Intuit, Juniper Networks, National Science Foundation, NetApp, SAP, Symantec, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Bank of America, Broadcom, EMC, GoDaddy, LinkedIn, Lockheed Martin, Nationwide, Neustar, Rackspace, Raytheon, Salesforce.com, VentureLoop, VMware, Xerox and Yahoo! The Anita Borg Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 charitable organization. For more information, visit anitaborg.org.
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