Lenore Blum, distinguished career professor of computer science, is one of five women leaders who are finalists for the Greater Pittsburgh ATHEA Award. Presented by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, the award recognizes women for their professional excellence, contributions to the community and mentorship of other women.
The winner will be announced September 30 during an awards luncheon at the Westin Convention Center Hotel. Last year's luncheon drew almost 900 people, making it one of the largest stand-alone events of its kind among 500-plus ATHEA events worldwide. Tickets are available online at ATHEA-Pittsburgh.com.
Blum's research includes developing a theory of computation and complexity over the real and complex numbers, combining ideas from mathematics and computer science. A tireless advocate for increasing the participation of women in math and science, she was a founder and past president of the Association for Women in Mathematics and the founder of Women@SCS. President George Bush in 2004 presented her with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.
As founding director of the School of Computer Science's Project Olympus and now co-director of CMU's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, she has become a business and development leader both on campus and in the community. Last year, she was part of a Pittsburgh contingent that visited Washington, D.C. to meet with the White House Business Council.
She is among the contributors to a Kauffman Foundation white paper, "Entrepreneurship Education Comes of Age on Campus," released this week. The report discusses a wide range of issues related to the implementation of entrepreneurship programs, including how to craft curricular and co-curricular offerings and develop activities that balance learning and doing. The report highlights the benefits of melding universities with outside communities through mentorship networks and other programs. The paper recommends strategies to create a campus culture that fosters effective entrepreneurship education.