Her Story Thursdays: Dr. Francis Allen


Hi Everyone! Welcome back to another HERstory Thursdays, it's been quite a while... Born in 1932, Francis Elizabeth Allen grew up the oldest of six children to a farmer father and elementary school mother. After being inspired by her math teacher in high school, Allen set out to study and teach math and ended up teaching math at the same high school that inspired her a few years later. To fully certify as a teacher she would need a master's degree and ended up at University of Michigan. After being offered a position at IBM - thinking she would use the job to pay off her student debts - she then spent the next 45 years there.

She spent the vast majority of her career developing compilers for IBM and teaching programming languages (like FORTRAN). She retired from IBM  in 2002 after becoming an IBM Fellow in 1989, an IEEE Fellow in 1991, and Association for Women in Computing Ada Lovelace Award in 2002. She created techniques that still are being used today. She won the ACM Turing Award in 2006.

To learn more about Francis Allen, check out her biography here: