Barbara Simons (1941 – present)
The 2020 Women’s History Month theme is “Valiant Women of the Vote”, and in this article, we celebrate Barbara Simons, a retired computer scientist who believes that paper is the only safe voting technology. She began her career at IBM in their research division and worked on compiler optimizer, algorithm analysis, and clock synchronization. After 17 years there, she became president of the Association for Computing Machinery. She served as president of ACM for 9 years and focused on policy associated with technology regulations. After leaving ACM, she began working on voting technology policy, specifically the dangers of unverified voting via technology.
During Women’s History Month this March, ACM is encouraging computing professionals and students to use the hashtag #SheIsWhyICode to share stories of women in computing who have inspired them at any point in their career or education. The stories might range in topic from one’s earliest introduction to computer science to overcoming a recent professional obstacle, and the subjects could vary from luminaries of the computing field to someone’s high school computer science teacher or current boss.