ABIE Award Winners, Technical Leadership

Frances Allen

2004 Women Of Vision ABIE Award Winner for Technical Leadership

Fran Allen first met Anita Borg in the early 1970′s as a student in Fran’s graduate course on Compilers at NYU. Anita later observed that: “Fran was the only woman professor I had in graduate school.” Anita Borg went on to change the role of women in computing and in the process became an inspiring role model and friend for Fran and many others.

Widely known for her work on compilers, compiler optimization, parallelism, and high performance systems, Fran Allen became IBM’s first woman Fellow – the company’s highest technical honor. Fran is also well known for her work as a mentor and advocate for women in computing. Active professionally, she has served on multiple boards including NSF’s CISE Board, the National Research Council’s Computer Sciences and Telecommunications Board (CSTB), CRA, and the ACM Council.

Now retired after 45 years in computing, Fran Allen is a Fellow Emerita at IBM’s T. J. Watson Research Laboratory and continues her active involvement in professional, technical, and women’s advocacy projects. Current activities include serving on the IWT Advisory Board and the IWT Leadership Workshop committee. Helping to fulfill Anita Borg’s dream of having many women contributing to all aspects of IT continues to inspire Fran’s work.

Allen is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a Fellow of the ACM, the IEEE, and the Computer History Museum and has two honorary doctorate degrees as well as several awards for her work for women in computing. She has been inducted into the WITI (Women in Technology International) Hall of Fame and received the Augusta Ada Lovelace Award from the Association for Women in Computing. For her work on behalf of women in IBM, the company established the Frances E. Allen IBM Women in Technology Mentoring Award in 2000 and made Fran the first recipient.