• unknown (b.)


An American computer scientist and a founder of the field of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), she attended Hunter College High School before earning her undergraduate and graduate degrees from MIT. In 1975, she became the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in computer science from MIT. In her dissertation of that year, she published the first operational actor model which in computer science is a mathematical model of concurrent computation that treats "actors" as the universal primitives of concurrent digital computation: in response to a message that it receives, an actor can make local decisions, create more actors, send more messages, and determine how to respond to the next message received. It has been used both as a framework for a theoretical understanding of computation, and as the theoretical basis for several practical implementations of concurrent systems. She was a professor of computer science at the University of Washington before returning to MIT as a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (1977–87). In 1984, she and Paul Cashman coined the term "Computer Supported Cooperative Work" (CSCW); where she headed the Collaborative User Experience Group (CUE); a team of researchers at an interdisciplinary workshop in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The group developed shared calendar, coauthoring, and real-time collaboration systems. Preferring research over teaching, she left academia in 1987 to join Lotus, where she directed its Product Design Group (PDG), and created the Lotus Research group in 1992. Product innovations from her group include Version Manager for 1-2-3, InterNotes Web Publisher (precursor to Domino); the first Palm Pilot conduit for Notes mail; the Sametime strategy for integrating awareness, conversation, and shared objects; and the design vision for Reinventing Email. After Lotus was acquired by IBM, she became an IBM Fellow and served as Director of Collaborative User Experience in the company's Thomas J. Watson Research Center. She is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Her awards include Women in Technology International Hall of Fame inductee (2000) and Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology Leadership Award (2008). Now living in Newton Centre, Massachusetts, she retired from IBM in 2013. She is married to Albert R. Meyer, the Hitachi America Professor of Computer Science at MIT. She is Jewish; has a son and daughter, as well as two step-children. Among the works she has authored are: “Semantics Of Communicating Parallel Processes” 1975; “Programs For Distributed Computing: The Calendar Application”, 1980; “Cooperative Office Work, Teleconferencing And Calendar Management”, a collection of papers, 1982; “Software For The 'Roles' People Play”, 1983; and “Computer-Supported Cooperative Work: a book of readings”, 1988.
  • Gender:

  • Noted For:

    Inventor of the Version Manager which analysts have consistently designated as the most significant group-enabling feature in spreadsheets
  • Category of Achievement:

  • More Info: