Barbara Ryder, professor and head of the Computer Science Department in Virginia Tech's College of Engineering, was recently elected the Association of Computing Machinery's (ACM) Secretary-Treasurer for a 2008 to 2010 term of office, and received the association's Presidential Award in June 2008.

The Association of Computing Machinery is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society.

"I am excited to be elected secretary-treasurer of ACM, the premiere professional society in computing. The leadership of ACM faces many challenges including expanding ACM into a truly international association, providing better services to our practitioner members, continuing good support of the special interest groups (SIG), encouraging students to become active ACM members, and remediating the lack of diversity in the computing workforce. I look forward to working on the achievement of these goals," said Ryder.

According to the association’s website, the presidential awards are received “for unique contributions that have advanced the computing profession through vision, resolve, inspiration, and leadership. The recipients of this honor have each demonstrated their exceptional abilities to advance computing and its impact for the benefit of society through generosity, creativity and dedication to their respective missions.”

Ryder earned the presidential award for her contributions as chair of the 2003 (and Steering Committee Chair of the 2007), Federated Computing Research Conference (FERC), as well as for her work on behalf of the Special Interest Group on Programming Languages (SIGPLAN) History of Programming Languages conferences, including serving as General and Program Co-Chair of the third History of Programming Languages conference (HOPL-III) held at the Federated Computing Research Conference in 2007.

Ryder also served from 1989 to 1999 on SIGPLAN's Executive Committee, and as its chair from 1995 to 1997. More recently she was an elected member at large of the Association of Computing Machinery Council from 2000 to 2008.

Ryder has also dedicated her services in the support of women in computing, among them, serving on the Athena Lecturer Award Committee, and by teaching and living as a role model for young women aspiring to careers in engineering.

Ryder received her Ph.D. degree in computer science at Rutgers in 1982 and was a professor at Rutgers before coming to Virginia Tech. She previously worked in the 1970s at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J. Ryder’s research interests focus on static and dynamic program analyses for object-oriented systems, focusing on usage in practical software tools.

Ryder became a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery in 1998, was selected as a CRA-W Distinguished Professor in 2004, and received the ACM SIGPLAN Distinguished Service Award in 2001. She was voted Professor of the Year for Excellence in Teaching by the Rutgers Computer Science Graduate Student Society in 2003, received a Leader in Diversity Award at Rutgers in 2006, and a Graduate Teaching Award from Rutgers Graduate School in 2007.

In addition to her active leadership in the association, she served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Computer Research Association from 1998 to 2001. Ryder’s service has included editorial board member of ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering,. IEEE Software and Software, Practice and Experience. A member of many program and conference committees, especially those sponsored by ACM SIGPLAN and ACM SIGSOFT, she has been a panelist in the CRA Workshops on Academic Careers for Women and the New Software Engineering Faculty Symposia.

The computer science department at Virginia Tech was established in 1971 and is part of the College of Engineering, the premier engineering school in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The college has a history of innovation, including cost-effective supercomputing (System X) and entrepreneurial research innovation, leading to three new buildings for research in critical technologies and applied science.

The computer science department is distinguished by interdisciplinary research in high-end computing systems, computational biology and bioinformatics, and human-computer interaction as well as core areas in computing. The graduate program, offering master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Blacksburg and at the Northern Virginia Center, was ranked among the top 30 programs as measured by the most recent study of Ph.D.s awarded. The graduates of the accredited undergraduate program are highly sought by industry and well prepared for further study.

Share this story