Anita Jones, University Professor Emerita and a retired professor of computer science in the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, will deliver the keynote address at this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference, to be held Oct. 3-6 in Baltimore.
This is the second time that Jones has been chosen for the honor. She gave her first keynote address in 1994, at the very first conference.
“At the time, I was the director of defense research and engineering in the Pentagon,” Jones said. “My job was oversight of the Department of Defense Science and Technology program.
“Giving the keynote again in 2012 is a real milestone for me. I have very good memories of the first conference. This conference is special as it focuses on women in computing and at the same time is a technical conference.”
The conference is held annually by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and the Association for Computing Machinery. Named to honor Rear Adm. Grace Hopper, a pioneer in the computer science field, it is the largest technical conference for women in computing and results in collaborative proposals, networking and mentoring for junior women. It also highlights the accomplishments and technical contributions of women in computing.
Jones will give her keynote address on the experiences of being a woman in academic computer science from the 1970s to the present day. She will also address the conference theme, “Are We There Yet?”
“Life can be full of accomplishments, but they prepare one to be capable of doing more, and to want to achieve more,” she said. “With respect to computer science, the field never arrives ‘there.’ Each new result enables an opportunity to tackle problems that were not tractable in the past. So, today’s hot research areas – for example social computing, big data, massive open online courses and autonomous systems – were not tractable in the distant past.”
Jones received her bachelor of arts degree from Rice University, her M.A. from the University of Texas and her Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University. She has recently retired from teaching at U.Va. She retains an office in the computer science department and is involved in planning the computer science seminar series for the next year.