Barbara Liskov

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Barbara Liskov
Barbara Liskov MIT computer scientist 2010.jpg
Liskov in 2010.
Born Barbara Jane Huberman
(1939-11-07) November 7, 1939 (age 74)
Nationality American
Fields Computer science
Institutions Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Alma mater
Doctoral advisor John McCarthy[1]
Known for
Notable awards

Barbara Liskov (born November 7, 1939 as Barbara Jane Huberman) is a computer scientist[2] who is an institute professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Ford Professor of Engineering in its School of Engineering's electrical engineering and computer science department.[3]

Life and career[edit]

Liskov earned her BA in mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley in 1961. In 1968 Stanford University made her one of the first women in the United States to be awarded a Ph.D. from a computer science department.[4][5] The topic of her Ph.D. thesis was a computer program to play chess endgames.[6]

Liskov has led many significant projects, including the Venus operating system, a small, low-cost and interactive timesharing system; the design and implementation of CLU; Argus, the first high-level language to support implementation of distributed programs and to demonstrate the technique of promise pipelining; and Thor, an object-oriented database system. With Jeannette Wing, she developed a particular definition of subtyping, commonly known as the Liskov substitution principle. She leads the Programming Methodology Group at MIT, with a current research focus in Byzantine fault tolerance and distributed computing.

Recognition and awards[edit]

Liskov is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). In 2002, she was recognized as one of the top women faculty members at MIT, and among the top 50 faculty members in the sciences in the U.S.[7]

In 2004, Barbara Liskov won the John von Neumann Medal for "fundamental contributions to programming languages, programming methodology, and distributed systems".[8] On 19 November 2005, Barbara Liskov and Donald E. Knuth were awarded ETH Honorary Doctorates.[9] Liskov and Knuth were also featured in the ETH Zurich Distinguished Colloquium Series.[10]

Liskov received the 2008 Turing Award from the ACM, in March 2009,[11] for her work in the design of programming languages and software methodology that led to the development of object-oriented programming.[12] Specifically, Liskov developed two programming languages, CLU[13] in the 1970s and Argus[14] in the 1980s.[12] The ACM cited her contributions to the practical and theoretical foundations of "programming language and system design, especially related to data abstraction, fault tolerance, and distributed computing."[15]

Barbara Liskov is the author of three books and over a hundred technical papers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Barbara Liskov at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ Barbara Liskov - A.M. Turing Award Winner
  3. ^ Barbara Liskov, Programming Methodology Group, MIT.
  4. ^ "Barbara Liskov -- Engineergirl". Retrieved 2007-09-06.  Profile from the National Academies of Engineering.
  5. ^ "UW-Madison Computer Science Ph.D.s Awarded, May 1965 - August 1970". Retrieved 2010-11-08.  PhDs granted at UW-Madison Computer Sciences Department.
  6. ^ *Huberman (Liskov), Barbara Jane (1968). "A program to play chess end games". Stanford University Department of Computer Science, Technical Report CS 106, Stanford Artificial Intelligence Project Memo AI-65. 
  7. ^ "MIT's magnificent seven: Women faculty members cited as top scientists". MIT News Office (Cambridge, MA). 5 Nov 2002. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  8. ^ IEEE John von Neumann Medal Recipients from the website of IEEE
  9. ^ "Honorary Doctors". Zurich: ETH Computer Science. 22 Mar 2006. Retrieved 29 October 2012. "Barbara Liskov and Donald E. Knuth were awarded the title ETH Honorary Doctor on 19 November 2005." 
  10. ^ "Distinguished Lecturers Barbara Liskov and Donald E. Knuth". Zurich: ETH Computer Science. Jan 2006. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  11. ^ Top prize in computing goes to MIT professor from the website of The Boston Globe
  12. ^ a b Barbara Liskov Wins Turing Award | March 10, 2009 from the Dr. Dobb's Journal website
  13. ^ Liskov, B.; Snyder, A.; Atkinson, R.; Schaffert, C. (August 1977). "Abstraction mechanisms in CLU". Comm. ACM 20 (8): 564–576. doi:10.1145/359763.359789. Retrieved 24 May 2013.  edit
  14. ^ Liskov, B. (March 1988). "Distributed programming in Argus". Comm. ACM 31 (3): 300–312. doi:10.1145/42392.42399.  edit
  15. ^ "ACM Names Barbara Liskov Recipient of the 2008 ACM A.M. Turing Award". Association for Computing Machinery. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 

External links[edit]