Carnegie Mellon University
October 05, 2016

Shaw To Receive Stibitz Computer Pioneer Award

Honored for Contributions to Software Engineering and Computer Science Education

By Byron Spice

Shaw To Receive Stibitz Computer Pioneer Award

Mary Shaw, the Alan J. Perlis University Professor of Computer Science, will receive the annual George R. Stibitz Computer and Communications Pioneer Award on Friday, Oct. 7, at the American Computer and Robotics Museum in Bozeman, Mont.

 The award recognizes Shaw for "seminal and pioneering contributions to software architecture and computer science curricula."

Also this year, Alan Turing and Joseph Desch will receive the Stibitz award posthumously in recognition of their success in cracking Nazi Germany's Enigma Machine code during World War II.

Shaw will visit with Montana State University students on Oct. 7 and will be honored in a private dinner that evening.

"Dr. Shaw's exemplary achievements in the field of software engineering have had a legendary and seminal impact on computer science as a whole and the evolution of computer software in particular," said George Keremedjiev, founder and director of the museum. Furthermore, her curricula in the areas of abstract data structures, software architecture and software design "have helped to revolutionize the pedagogy of computer science worldwide."

Shaw, one of Carnegie Mellon's earliest Ph.D. graduates in computer science and a faculty member since 1971, is a leader in software engineering research. Her work on software architecture — the large-scale structure of software systems — helped establish it as a recognized discipline. Selecting an appropriate architecture is now recognized as a critical step in the engineering of complex software systems for everything from the antilock braking systems in cars to the international banking system.

She also is an educational innovator who has developed computer science curricula from the introductory to the doctoral level, including graduate programs targeted at software professionals.

A faculty member in the Institute for Software Research, the Computer Science Department and the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Shaw has received many professional honors, including the 2014 National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the nation's highest honor for achievement in the field of technology, innovation and invention.