Barbara Simons receives UC Berkeley Lifetime Achievement Award

By David
September 14, 2005

USACM’s Barbara Simons recently received a Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award for Lifetime Achievement from UC Berkeley. Currently she is a member of USACM’s executive committee and is co-chairing ACM’s study of statewide voter registration databases.

The full ACM release regarding the award appears below:

The Association for Computing Machinery

Contact: Virginia Gold
(212) 626-0505

UC Berkeley Taps Association for Computing Machinery Past President, Expert on Electronic Voting, for Life Achievement Award

New York, Sept. 13 — Barbara Simons, a major contributor to the national computing community, has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of California, Berkeley. Simons, who served as president of The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) from 1998 – 2000, joins the 2005 Distinguished Engineering Alumni Lifetime Achievement award winners Frank Agardy, a leading expert in the field of water pollution control, and Bill Joy, who designed and wrote Berkeley UNIX – the first open source operating system with built-in TCP/IP, making it the backbone of the Internet.

Simons currently co-chairs ACM’s study of Voter Registration Databases, which plans to issue a report later this year advising federal and state decision makers on the best practices for designing state-wide voter registration databases. Simons, who has become a major voice on the technology aspects of electronic voting, is currently writing a book on the topic. She founded ACM’s US Public Policy Committee (USACM) in 1993, and served as co-chair for nearly 10 years. She was honored with ACM’s 2001 Outstanding Contribution Award, and is a Fellow of ACM and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Selection for Berkeley’s annual awards was based on performance and recognition locally, nationally, or internationally in one or more of the following areas:

– Professional Achievement: exemplary leadership and technical accomplishment within the engineering profession

– Academic Achievement: outstanding creativity in advancing the engineering profession within the context of a university or research institution

– Public Service Achievement: exemplary community and public service

A researcher, leader, and advocate for women in computing, Simons was a Research Staff Member at IBM’s San Jose Research Center (now Almaden). Her research focused on compiler optimization, algorithm analysis and design, and scheduling theory. Her work on clock synchronization won an IBM Research Division Award, and she holds several patents, and has authored or co-authored a book and numerous technical papers.

Simon was selected by Open Computing as one of the “Top 100 Women in Computing” in 1994, and by CNET as one of its 26 Internet “Visionaries” in 1995. An acknowledged computer policy expert, Simons served on President Clinton’s Export Council Subcommittee on Encryption and National Workshop on Internet Voting. While a graduate student at Berkeley, she helped found Women in Computer Science and Engineering (WICSE) and upon graduation with her Ph.D. in 1981, co-founded Berkeley’s Computer Science Reentry Program for women and minorities.

She is on the Board of Directors of the U.C. Berkeley Engineering Fund, Public Knowledge, the Math/Science Network, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, as well as the Advisory Boards of the Oxford Internet Institute and Zeroknowledge, and the Public Interest Registry’s .ORG Advisory Council. She has testified before both the U.S. and the California legislatures and at government sponsored hearings.

The award will be presented at the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award dinner on Saturday, Sept. 24, in the Hearst Memorial Mining Building on the Berkeley campus. For details go to .

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CONTACT: Virginia Gold, ACM Media Relations, 212-626-0505,