Tech Women: Meet 20th Century Computer Scientist Anita Borg
Anita Borg, the popular American Computer scientist of the 20th century, had unbridled passion to work for greater representation of technical women. It was the ardent desire of this enterprising woman to see 50% representation for women in computing by 2020.
Know more about her illustrious career and academic achievements:
- Born in 1949 in Chicago, Illinois, Borg grew up in Palatine, Illinois Kaneohe, Hawaii; and Mukilteo, Washington.
- She bagged her first programming job in 1969. It was while working at a small insurance company that she taught herself programming.
- Under the joint supervision of Robert Dewarand and Gerald Belpaire, she investigated the the synchronization efficiency of operating systems. Borg was awarded a PhD in Computer Science by New York University in 1981 for the same.
She has worked extensively in enhancing email communication. During her career, Borg developed and patented a method for generating complete address traces for analyzing and designing high-speed memory systems. She also developed MECCA, an email and web-based system for communicating in virtual communities
- Borg also founded the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in 1994 and Institute for Women and Technology. She endeavoured to see more women in the field of computer science.
- In 1987, Borg founded Systers. It was the first email network for women in technology.
Borg has been recognised time and again for her significant contribution in the field of computer science. In 2002, she received an Honorary Doctor of Science and Technology degree from Carnegie Mellon University. She also served as a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Women in Science and Engineering. Besides this, she has received umpteen awards for her research and work.
Death and Legacy
Borg was diagnosed with a brain tumour but that didn’t thwart her from leading the Institute for Women and Technology until 2002. She died on April 6, 2003, in Sonoma, California. The same institute was renamed as the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology in her honour.
The UNSW School of Computer Science and Engineering offers the Anita Borg Prize, named in her honour.