Princeton University professor Jennifer Rexford recently was awarded the Athena Lecturer award by ACM's Council on Women in Computing (ACM-W). Rexford's work focuses on finding ways to ensure the Internet performs as intended, and the many networks involved in its processes run efficiently, reliably, and securely.
"We tend to think of the Internet as a single thing, but really its operation depends on a competitive cooperation of so many different networks across different companies and countries," Rexford says.
She and her colleagues are trying to find solutions to problems with the way the Internet works and improving the efficiency of Border Gateway Protocols, which are crucial to routing Internet traffic and binding the system together.
Rexford also wants to see more girls and young women pursuing their interests and potential careers in technology, especially in computer science-related fields. "In addition to learning how to program, I'd encourage girls and women to find opportunities to learn about computer science--how to create and analyze algorithms, how protocols and systems work, and so on," Rexford says.
She notes computer science research can be combined with a range of other disciplines and can complement interests and high achievement in a variety of different fields. "I think we underestimate how much young college women could inspire junior high school girls to continue their studies in computer science and other technical fields," Rexford says.
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