Frances Allen, pioneer computer scientist, died aged 88


She was in a nursing home when she died of Alzheimer’s disease, her grandnephew Ryan McKee told The New York Times.

Allen grew up on a farm in Peru, New York, and received his undergraduate degree in mathematics in 1954 from the New York State College for Teachers (now called SUNY Albany). After graduating, she became a teacher at a school in her hometown. Two years later, she enrolled at the University of Michigan where she obtained a master’s degree in mathematics in 1957.

After graduating, Allen accepted a job as a programmer for IBM Research, intending to stay with IBM while he paid off his student loan debts. Almost 45 years later, she retired from the company after having spent her entire career there.

IBM called Allen a “pioneer in organizing compilers and optimization algorithms,” in a recap posted on the company’s website. She has made significant contributions in the field through her work on inter-procedural analysis and automatic parallelization.

His efforts have helped “software designers to generate more powerful and efficient code, which has led to huge advances in the use of supercomputers and parallel processing, and ultimately at all levels of computing.” Allen said in the Washington Post.Allen was an IBM Fellow Emerita and a recipient of the prestigious Turing Award, an annual award presented by the Association for Computing Machinery to “an individual selected for their technical contributions to the computing community.” According to the Heidelberg Laureate Forum, a professional enrichment organization in the field, it is recognized as the “highest honor in computing”.

In 2006, Allen became the first woman to receive the award, IBM said.

In addition, Allen was a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was a member of the Association of Computing Machinery, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Computer History Museum. She has received two honorary doctorates as well as several awards for her work with women in computer science.

She was also inducted into the International Women in Technology Hall of Fame and received the Augusta Ada Lovelace Award from the Association for Women in Computing, IBM said.

In addition to her passion for computers, she was passionate about hiking. And she has spent much of her career at IBM mentoring other employees, especially women.

In her recollection, IBM quoted McKee, her grandnephew, as saying, ‚ÄúProfessionally, Fran has spent her entire life advancing the field of IT … Personally, she was also focused on inspiring and motivating young people. do the same. “


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