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Frances Allen, pioneering computer scientist, died at the age of 88



Her nephew, Ryan McKee, told the New York Times that she was in a nursing home when she died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.

Allen grew up on a farm in Peru, New York, and received his undergraduate math degree in 1954 from the New York State College of Education (now called SUNY Albany). After graduating, she became a teacher at a school in her hometown. Two years later, she enrolled in the University of Michigan, where she obtained a master’s degree in mathematics in 1957.

After graduating, Allen took a job as a programmer for IBM Research, with the intention of staying at IBM just long enough to pay off his student loans. Nearly 45 years later, she quit her job at the company after spending her entire career there.

IBM called Allen “a pioneer in the organization of compilers and optimization algorithms”

;, in a tribute posted on the company’s website. She has made significant contributions to the field through her work on the analysis of the interprocedure and automatic parallelism.

Her efforts helped “software designers to generate more powerful and efficient code, leading to enormous advances in using supercomputers and parallel processing, and ultimately in all.” both levels of computation, “said Allen in the Washington Post.

Allen is a IBM Emerita member and recipient of the prestigious Turing Award, an annual award given to “by the Computer Computing Association” an individual chosen for his technical contributions to the community. computer.” According to the Heidelberg Laureate Forum, a professional enrichment organization in the field, it is recognized as “the highest difference in computer science.”

In 2006, Allen became the first woman to receive an award, IBM said.

In addition, Allen is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Philosophical Association, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a member of the Computer Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Computer History Museum. She has received two honorary doctorates as well as several awards for her work in women in the computer field.

IBM said she has also been honored in the Women’s Hall of Fame in International Technology and received the Augusta Ada Lovelace Award from the Women in Computer Association.

In addition to her passion for computers, she is also a person who enjoys hiking. And she has spent most of her career at IBM mentoring other employees, especially women.

In retrospect, IBM quoted McKee, her nephew, saying: “Professionally, Fran has spent her life developing the computer field … On a personal level, she also focuses on inspiring and motivating young people – especially women – to do the same. “


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