Your specialty, machine learning, involves building systems that automatically recognize interesting patterns. In your 27 years on the computer science faculty at Williams, you recognized that what students learn—and who learns it—could evolve in important and enduring ways. With a National Science Foundation grant, you and two Williams colleagues co-authored a textbook that changed the way introductory computer science is taught. Though you saw the intro class as a valuable opportunity to excite and inspire students new to the field, you were disappointed not to be able to teach it because your advanced classes in artificial intelligence and machine learning were so popular. In your time here, you have engaged dozens of students as research partners whose names appear alongside yours in scholarly articles and book chapters. I should note that you were the first woman to teach computer science at Williams. Thanks in no small part to your work to broaden representation in the department and in the discipline, women now account for 50 percent of the computer science faculty here. You started a campus group for women computer scientists that, as one student remembers, began with a few people gathered around a table at Tunnel City and grew to standing-room-only meetings in the department’s common room. Each year, you took students to The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, the world’s largest gathering of women technologists, where you served on several important committees. When you were tapped one year to lead a panel at the conference about work-life balance, a colleague asked what you might say, joking that you “probably pulled more all-nighters than the students.” Back on campus, you served the wider Williams community as an interim Dean of the Faculty and member of numerous influential committees. For all that you’ve given to your students, your colleagues, your research and your college, we are so grateful.
I hereby declare you the Mary A. and William Wirt Warren Professor of Computer Science, Emerita, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.
May 31, 2021