ABIE Award Winners, Technical Leadership

Anne Condon

2014 Winner of the Grace Hopper Celebration Technical Leadership ABIE Award

Dr. Anne Condon is a professor and the head of the Department of Computer Science at University of British Columbia. She received her bachelor’s degree (1982) from University College Cork, Ireland, and her Ph.D. (1987) at the University of Washington. Dr. Condon’s research interests are in biomolecular computation and computational prediction of RNA and DNA structure and folding pathways, with applications to design of novel structures and to gene synthesis. She and her collaborators have developed algorithms and thermodynamic models that have improved the efficiency and accuracy of state-of-the-art methods for nucleic acid secondary structure prediction. More broadly, her research contributions span computational complexity theory, hardware verification, bioinformatics biomolecular computation, and combinatorial auctions.

Dr. Condon has received an ACM Distinguished Dissertation Award, an NSF Young Investigator Award, and Distinguished Alumna Awards from University College Cork and University of Washington’s CSE Department and College of Engineering. She is an ACM Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She received the 2010 Computing Research Association’s Habermann Award for outstanding contributions aimed at increasing the numbers and successes of women in computing research.

Anne served on the Computing Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women (CRA-W) (1994-2007), serving as Co-Chair from 2000-2003. In that capacity, Anne lead the Distributed Mentor Project from 1996-1999. Anne organized an extensive third-party evaluation of the project, conducted by staff at the LEAD (Learning through Evaluation, Adaptation and Dissemination) center, University of Wisconsin. The results of that study had significant impact in raising awareness of why research mentoring is valuable for women in computing. The evaluation also showed that over 50 percent of surveyed DMP participants did indeed go on to graduate school, significantly higher than a comparison with data from the National Center for Educational Statistics. Partly as a result of the significance of this evaluation, the DMP was highlighted as one of four flagship projects in the National Science 2000 budget proposal to U.S. Congress for computer science and engineering. Anne also helped expand CRA-W’s programs to Canada, served as co-chair of CRA-W from 2000-2003, and helped start CRA-W’s alumnae newsletter in 2006. Anne has also served as ACM-W’s Canadian Ambassador. She held the NSERC/General Motors Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (2004-2009). As NSERC Chair, Anne is working on an interdisciplinary approach to teaching introductory Computer Science, and has created a network of leaders across British Columbia to work towards increasing the representation of women in academic Science and Engineering programs.

Anne was Program Chair (2007) and Conference Chair (2008) of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, and co-organized a Regional Hopper conference in the Pacific Northwest in 2014. She is active in mentoring and supervising women students and researchers, both at UBC and elsewhere.