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Nancy Lynch Named 2012 Athena Lecturer

Nancy Lynch

The 2012 Athena Lecturer, Nancy Lynch is the NEC Professor of Software Science and Engineering at MIT.

Credit: Jason Dorfman, CSAIL/MIT

ACM’s Council on Women in Computing (ACM-W) has named Nancy Lynch of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as the 2012-2013 Athena Lecturer.  Lynch developed mathematical approaches to understanding the capabilities of distributed systems, which rely on multiple processors for computation and coordination.  These systems include traditional wired networks, modern mobile communications, cloud computing systems, parallel computers, and embedded computers in factory machinery.  Her contributions include modeling and proof techniques, algorithms, and impossibility results that are now in the toolbox of computer scientists who design distributed systems.  

The Athena Lecturer award celebrates women researchers who have made fundamental contributions to computer science.  It includes a $10,000 honorarium provided by Google Inc. 

Lynch is the NEC Professor of Software Science and Engineering at MIT.  She heads the Theory of Distributed Systems Group at MIT”s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.  

An ACM Fellow and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Lynch and her co-authors received the 2001 and the 2007 Dijkstra Prizes in Distributed Computing.  She was the first woman to win the ACM Knuth Prize, also in 2007.  She was a co-winner of the first van Wijngaarden Prize in 2006 from the National Institute for Research in Mathematics and Computer Science in The Netherlands.  In 2010, she received the Emanuel R. Piore Award from the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

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