Happy Monday to all of you! Here is the latest in our series about women in computing by contributing blogger, Heather Elizabeth Ross.
Often referred to as the Mother of the Internet, Radia Perlman is a software designer and network engineer known for her invention of the spanning-tree protocol. This is a network protocol that ensures a loop-free topology for any bridged Ethernet local area network. She holds a BS and MA in Mathematics, as well as a PhD in Computer Science, all from MIT. Perlman has been influential in network design and standardization, including work on link-state protocols. This includes TRILL (Transparent Interconnect of Lots of Links), which she invented to correct flaws of spanning-tree architecture. Perlman has been a pioneer in teaching young children computer programming by developing TORTIS, a version of the educational robotics language, LOGO. Currently employed by Intel, Perlman holds more than 50 patents from Sun Microsystems Inc., which was acquired by Oracle in 2010. The Radia Perlman Computer Technology book series has eleven titles, of which Perlman co-authored three. Perlman was awarded the SIGCOMM lifetime achievement award and a similar honor from USENIX. Data Communications magazine named her one of the 20 most influential people in the technology industry. She received an honorary doctorate from the Royal Institute of Technology of Sweden. Radia Perlman is the recipient of one of three of the inaugural Women of Vision Awards from the Anita Borg Institute.
Wilson, a British computer scientist, designed the Acorn Microcomputer in the late 1970s when she was an undergraduate at Cambridge University. In 1981, she revamped Acorn Atom’s BASIC programming language dialect into Acorn Proton. The Proton, another microcomputer, won Acorn an illustrious contract with the BBC. In 1983, Wilson devised the instruction set for one of the very first RISC processors, the Acorn RISC Machine. She also designed Acorn Replay, the video architecture for Acorn machines Wilson currently works for Broadcom in the DSL business unit.