Mary Shaw Receives IEEE Award for Software Engineering Education

Byron SpiceThursday, May 6, 2010

Mary Shaw, the Alan J. Perlis Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, has been selected by the IEEE Computer Society's Technical Council on Software Engineering as the first recipient of its Distinguished Educator Award.

The award, announced today at the 32nd annual International Conference on Software Engineering in Cape Town, South Africa, recognizes Shaw for her work developing innovative curricula in computer science from the introductory to the doctoral level.

"I am deeply honored to receive this Distinguished Educator Award," said Shaw, who was unable to accept the award in person. "This is an exciting time for software engineering educators. The penetration of computing into all aspects of society, together with new architectures for Internet-based applications and distributed computing, challenge us to teach new forms of software development that involve distributed teams, developers who are not computer professionals and systems composed of independent, Web-based components."

Shaw, a faculty member since earning her Ph.D. in computer science at Carnegie Mellon in 1972, was an associate dean for professional education from 1992 to 1999. She cited the contributions of faculty colleagues David Garlan, Jim Herbsleb and David Root, the late Jim Tomayko, former faculty colleague Bill Wulf, and former graduate assistant and now Software Engineering Institute technical staff member Ipek Ozkaya in developing innovative courses and curricula in such areas as abstract data structures, software architecture and software design.

"Carnegie Mellon University pioneered the idea of creating graduate programs targeted to software professionals," said Randal E. Bryant, dean of Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science (SCS). "Mary has played a key role in these programs, especially in highlighting the importance of selecting an appropriate overall structure, or 'architecture' for a software system. Given the scale and complexity of the software that operates many critical resources - ranging from the antilock brakes in our cars to the international banking system - her work on software architecture is of great importance to all of us."

In March, Shaw was named the recipient of the first Nancy Mead Award for Excellence in Software Engineering Education at the annual Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training, which was held at Carnegie Mellon.

A faculty member of the Institute for Software Research, the Computer Science Department and the Human-Computer Interaction Institute within SCS, Shaw participated in developing the immigration course for incoming graduate students in the early 1970s, a complete undergraduate curriculum design in 1984, a system of professional master's degree programs, and courses in data abstraction, software engineering, software architecture, software engineering research and software design.

Shaw was chief scientist of Carnegie Mellon's Software Engineering Institute from 1984 to 1987 and co-director of the Sloan Software Industry Center from 2001 to 2006. She was a fellow of the Center for Innovation in Learning in 1997-98.

She is an equally distinguished researcher and is the author or editor of seven books and more than 200 papers and technical reports. She authored two of the 35 articles chosen last year by the editors of IEEE Software as the best peer-reviewed articles published during the magazine's first 25 years. She was one of just four authors with two articles on that list.

Her research interests in computer science lie primarily in the areas of software engineering and programming systems, particularly value-driven software design, support for everyday users, software architecture, programming languages, specifications and abstraction techniques.

Shaw has received the Reengineering Forum's Stevens Award for instrumental contributions in the development and recognition of software architecture as a discipline and the J.D. Warnier Prize for contributions to software engineering. She is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the IEEE and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is a past member of the National Academies' Computer Science and Telecommunications Board and the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's Information Science and Technology Board.

For More Information

Byron Spice | 412-268-9068 |