Nancy Lynch, the NEC Professor of Software Science and Engineering in the EECS department and head of the Theory of Distributed Systems Group at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, CSAIL, is the recipient of the IEEE 2009 Emanuel R. Piore Award. The purpose of the Piore Award, which was established by the IEEE Board of Directors in 1976, is to recognize and reward outstanding achievement in the field of information processing. This year, the award was given in recognition of Lynch’s "contributions to foundations of distributed and concurrent computing."
Lynch has written numerous research articles about distributed algorithms and impossibility results, and about formal modeling and validation of distributed systems. She is the author of the graduate textbook "Distributed Algorithms" and a co-author of the monograph "The Theory of Timed I/O Automata". She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an ACM Fellow, and a winner of several prizes for contributions to distributed computing theory.
Prof. Lynch's academic training was in mathematics, at Brooklyn College and MIT. She served on the mathematics and computer science faculty at several other universities, including the University of Southern California and Georgia Tech, prior to joining the MIT faculty in 1982. Since then, she has been working on applying mathematics to the tasks of understanding and constructing complex distributed systems. Her current projects involve designing algorithms for mobile wireless networks, and analyzing timed and hybrid systems and security protocols.