In honor of Ada Lovelace Day, and inspired by a challenge to name five awesome women in science and technology in five different countries, I’ll give my answer.
- Margaret Livingstone, Harvard Medical School (US). She gave the keynote talk at UIST 2012 (which I just attended, and it was awesome, and I need to write it up) about art and vision, and gave me quite a lot to think about in terms of how we process visual information. She is in the process of expanding her book Vision and Art, to be republished next year.
- Ada Yonath, Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel). She won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2009 for her work about ribosomes. (The previous female Nobel laureate in chemistry was 1964, so she ended quite the dry spell.)
- Cheryl Praeger, University of Western Australia. She’s done some amazing work on group theory and algorithm complexity.
- Tebello Nyokong, Rhodes University (South Africa). She is the first woman from South Africa to have won the L’Oréal-UNESCO award for women in science, for her work on cancer treatments.
- Sophia Drossopoulou, Imperial College London (UK). She might just be my favorite woman doing work in programming languages.
I’m overdue for a write-up of my experience at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, too. For now, suffice it to say that it was a freakin’ awesome experience to be in a room with 3600 other technical women, and I nearly fell out of my chair when my panel session about influencing without authority filled the room and had to turn people away.