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Fran Allen is the first woman to receive the Turing Award"For pioneering contributions to the theory and practice of optimizing compiler techniques that laid the foundation for modern optimizing compilers and automatic parallel execution."

Just mentioned a couple of days ago by Paul McJones: "People like Fran Allen, John Cocke, and [create Jack Schwartz] who pioneered the field of optimizing compilers got started by studying the original Fortran compiler."

From a (1996) interview uncovered by motz: "My favorite compiler - and I'm going to sound like an old fogey if I keep harking back to those early days, but it was a great time - was the first FORTRAN compiler. It was one of the great accomplishments in computing. [...] I wasn't associated with it; it was done by John Backus. It established the paradigm for compiler construction, and organization that has persisted almost to this day. The reason I like it is that it invented so many things. And it set the standard and paradigm for construction of compilers which persists to today."

Fran Allen: Turning points in interaction with computers — Introducing a retrospective double issue of the IBM Systems Journal (Volume 38, Nos. 2 & 3), Fran Allen identifies work in the fields of a. programming languages (as exemplified by Lisp, [create COBOL], FORTRAN, APL [for succinctly specifying and simulating systems], [create SIMSCRIPT] and [create NIL]), b. office automation ([create Office-by-Example] &c.) and c. human factors (Hirsch, 1981) as eventually leading to the most significant turning points in the history of interaction with computers.

2003 Interview conducted by IBM's Corporate Archivist, Paul Lasewicz

"I only intended to stay long enough [at IBM] to pay my debt, because I loved teaching high school mathematics and I was goint to go back."

"There was a great deal of resistance by the scientists because they said that it wasn't possible for a high level language with a compiler to produce code that was good enough. And so, my very first assignment, having been a teacher, was to teach the scientists this language and this programming and how to program in it."

"The memory latency, it's referred to."

"[...] [A] 24 hour weather forecast took 18 hours to calculate. [LAUGHTER] So we had problems."

"[...] [T]here's considerable interest lately in that machine [HARVEST] and that kind of [streaming] architecture."

"The [create NSA] was known as the Bureau of Ships. That was the line in the federal budget at that time."

"[...] [With IBM ACS], we built, as a result of our experience with STRETCH, we built the compiler before the machine, in order to be able to design the machine."

Great reading on STRETCH, HARVEST &c.



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