Carnegie Mellon University
May 17, 2017

Shaw Honored for Inspiring Women in Software Engineering

By Josh Quicksall

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has named SCS faculty, Mary Shaw, winner of the 2017 IEEE Computer Society Technical Council on Software Engineering (TCSE) Distinguished Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Leadership Award. The award will be presented at the 39th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The TCSE’s WISE Award is presented annually to an individual for outstanding and/or sustained leadership in the software engineering community, particularly where it concerns encouraging women to explore science and engineering career paths.

Shaw, a computer science faculty member since 1971, is a leader in software engineering research whose 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 anti-lock 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.

In honoring Shaw, the WISE selection committee pointed to numerous examples of her achievements - including her role in the foundation of the Software Engineering Institute and the field of software architecture, inspiring talks at notable conferences such as the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing; and monumental awards like the United States’ National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

The committee noted that it was, “Shaw’s pioneering leadership in education over four decades; her exceptional advocacy and enduring mentorship for women at all levels in science, engineering, and technology through a wide array of activities; as well as her numerous awards as a role model for women in the field which very clearly warranted this award.”

When Grace Lewis, alumna of the Master of Software Engineering program and the TCSE Executive Vice Chair, met Shaw shortly after arriving at Carnegie Mellon in 1999, she explains that it was not only Shaw's achievements which made a lasting impression, but also her overall approach. “She is so passionate and humble, whether it is software engineering, women in computing, cooking, or biking in Pennsylvania. Her heart is always in what she does and that is what really makes her a role model.”

Shaw earned a bachelor's degree from Rice University and a Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon. She is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, IEEE, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is a past recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the George R. Stibitz Computer & Communications Pioneer Award, the Outstanding Research Award from the Association for Computing Machinery's (ACM) Special Interest Group on Software Engineering, the Distinguished Educator Award presented by IEEE TCSE, and the first recipient of the Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training's (CSEET) Nancy Mead Award for Excellence in Software Engineering Education.