[SIGCIS-Members] In Memoriam - Fran Allen

Brian Berg brianberg at gmail.com
Thu Aug 6 08:55:45 PDT 2020

Thank you for this important news.  The URL for that story is

She was also named a Computer History Museum Fellow in 2000:
and she was included in the video used at the start of many CHM events
until fairly recently.

Brian Berg

On Wed, Aug 5, 2020 at 12:47 PM Brian Randell <brian.randell at newcastle.ac.uk>

> Hi:
> With great sadness I pass on this announcement from today’s issue of ACM
> Tech News:
> > Frances E. Allen, First Female Recipient of ACM A.M. Turing Award, Dies
> at 88
> > IBM Research Blog
> > August 5, 2020
> >
> > Frances Allen, the first female IBM Fellow and the first woman to be
> awarded the ACM A.M. Turing Award, has died at 88. A pioneer in compiler
> organization and optimization algorithms, Allen’s achievements in
> inter-procedural analysis and automatic parallelization continue to
> straddle the leading edge of compiler research. She served as IBM’s
> language liaison with the U.S. National Security Agency, helping to design
> and construct the high-level Alpha code-breaking language, which could
> generate new alphabets beyond system-defined alphabets. Allen designed and
> built the machine-independent, language-independent optimizing component of
> the Experimental Compiler for IBM's Advanced Computing System. An ACM
> Fellow, Allen also was a fellow of IEEE and of the Computer History Museum,
> was inducted into the Women In Technology International Hall of Fame, and
> and received the Augusta Ada Lovelace Award from the Association for Women
> in Computing.
> I have happy memories of working alongside, and being highly impressed by,
> Fran Allen first at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown
> Heights, and then with the ACS Project in California, in the mid-1960s.
> Many years later, as a member of the Alan Turing Award Committee, I had the
> privilege of being involved with her receiving the Alan Turing Award. Her
> work with John Cocke at Yorktown Heights on optimising compilers was truly
> ground-breaking, an important early stage of a brilliant 45-year career at
> IBM, very appropriately marked by her Turing Award.
> Let me encourage everyone who is not familiar with it to read the ACM
> Turing Award page about her - it is at
> https://amturing.acm.org/award_winners/allen_1012327.cfm
> Kind regards
> Brian Randell
> School of Computing, Newcastle University, 1 Science Square,
> Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5TG
> EMAIL = Brian.Randell at ncl.ac.uk   PHONE = +44 191 208 7923
> URL = http://www.ncl.ac.uk/computing/people/profile/brianrandell.html
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