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WoW Blog (Woman of the Week) Blog

WoW Blog (Woman of the Week)

Each week this blog will feature a prominent woman who made significant contributions to engineering or science. If you have any women you'd like us to feature please let us know and we'll do our best to include them.

Do you know of a great woman in engineering that should be recognized? Let us know! Submit a few paragraphs about that person and we'll add her to the blog. Please provide a citation for the material that you submit so that we can verify it. Please note - it has to be original material. We cannot publish copywritten material or bulk text taken from books or other sites (including Wikipedia).

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Woman of the Week – Anita Borg

Posted March 12, 2018 4:30 PM by lmno24

Dr. Anita Borg (1949–2003) was an American computer scientist and founded the Institute for Women and Technology and the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.

Born Anita Borg Naffz on January 17, 1949, in Chicago, Illinois, she grew up in Palatine, Illinois; Kaneohe, Hawaii; and Mukilteo, Washington. Although she loved math while growing up, she did not originally intend to go into computer science. She taught herself to program while working at a small insurance company. She was awarded a PhD in Computer Science by New York University in 1981 for research investigating the synchronization efficiency of operating systems supervised by Robert Dewar and Gerald Belpaire.

Source: AnitaB.org

In 1986, she began working for Digital Equipment Corporation, first at the Western Research Laboratory. While there, she developed and patented a method for generating complete address traces for analyzing and designing high-speed memory systems.

In 1987, Borg founded Systers, an online community, with 12 fellow women technologists. She wanted this project to provide a space for women to discuss about issues they experienced at work and share resources with each other. To this day, Systers offers a closed-network, safe community for women technologists.

In 1994, Anita co-founded the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) with Dr. Telle Whitney, former President and CEO of AnitaB.org. This was inspired by the legacy of Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper. The two were tired of attending conferences with almost no other women so they created the celebration to offer women the chance to improve their technical skills and connect with each other.

In 1997, Borg left Digital Equipment Corporation and began working as a researcher in the Office of the Chief Technology Officer at Xerox PARC.

Borg then went on to found the Institute for Women and Technology, which encompassed Systers and the Grace Hopper Celebration, and introduced new programs to work with organizations and individuals to address the gender gap. After Anita’s death in 2003, the organization was renamed The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. In 2017, it became AnitaB.org.

Anita received many honors for her important work in technology and advancing women in the field. In 1999, President Clinton appointed Anita to the Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering, and Technology. In 2002, she received the Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy, and Employment. She was a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and a member of the Board of Directors of the Computing Research Association. In 1998–99, she served as a member of the National Academy of Engineering’s Committee for the Celebration of Women in Engineering which created the Summit on Women in Engineering in May 1999. She served on the National Research Council’s Committee on Women in Science and Engineering.

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#1

Re: Woman of the Week – Anita Borg

03/12/2018 8:47 PM

Now that's a Borg for ya'

Very impressed

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Re: Woman of the Week – Anita Borg

03/14/2018 9:22 AM

The article doesn’t mention that she died at age 54 of cancer from a brain tumor. She sounds like a very admirable person. Her early college life sounds interesting as it was interrupted by two years of marriage and moving from Washington to New York, divorcing and going to school another eleven years to earn a PhD. (Pioneers in Computer Science: Anita Borg He Yan Helsinki February 24, 2016 UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI Department of Computer Science). Pioneers in Computer Science: Anita Borg

https://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/floreen/pioneers/BorgReport.pdf. This article is far more detailed than Wiki’s or the newspaper articles about where she worked at first and all. If you are a computer programming historian / enthusiast, or not, you may find it interesting. She had a productive but brief professional life, and I would have never heard of her before. Keep ‘em coming.

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