Barbara Liskov is elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences

Monday, April 30, 2012 - 6:00pm


Barbara Liskov, photographed by the ACM on the occasion of winning the Turing Medal in 2008 and used here on the occasion of her being elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Barabara H. Liskov, left, in a photo taken by the ACM on the occasion of her selection as the Turing Award winner in 2009.
Barbara Liskov, Institute Professor at MIT and 2009 winner of the Turing Award, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences. Liskov is one of 84 new members and 21 new foreign associates chosen in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.
Liskov's research interests lie in programming methodology, programming languages and systems, and distributed computing. Major projects include: the design and implementation of CLU, the first language to support data abstraction; the design and implementation of Argus, the first high-level language to support implementation of distributed programs; and the Thor object-oriented database system, which provides transactional access to persistent, highly-available objects in wide-scale distributed environments. Her current research interests include Byzantine-fault-tolerant storage systems and new approaches for providing consistent and secure storage on the Internet. Liskov heads the Programming Methodology Group at CSAIL.
A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Liskov is also a Fellow of ACM and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She received the Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award in 1996, and in 2002, she was named by Discover magazine as one of the 50 most important women in science. She received the IEEE John von Neumann medal in 2004. In 2005, she was awarded the title of ETH Honorary Doctor by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH). In 2008, she received the ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Achievement Award. In 2012, she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
As noted on the ACM-W (ACM's women in computing) website: "In 2009, Liskov received the 2008 ACM A.M. Turing Award for her foundational innovations to designing and building the pervasive computer systems that power daily life. Her achievements in programming language design have made software more reliable and easier to maintain. They are now the basis of every important programming language since 1975, including Ada, C++, Java, and C#.
One of the first U.S. women to be awarded a Ph.D. from a Computer Science department (in 1968 from Stanford University), Liskov revolutionized the programming field with groundbreaking research that underpins virtually every modern computer application for both consumers and businesses. Her contributions have led to fundamental changes in building the computer software programs that form the infrastructure of our information-based society. Her legacy has made software systems more accessible, reliable, and secure."