Frances E. Allen: Compiler expert
Frances E. Allen began working for IBM in 1957. What began as a job teaching Fortran, at that time a new computer programming language, led to a career in the field of optimizing compilers -- programs that translate source code into code that can be used directly by a computer. She also worked on code optimization and code parallelization. The techniques that resulted from her research and work are still used in compilers today.
Allen was also the first woman to be appointed an IBM fellow and in 2006 was the first woman to receive the A.M. Turing Award, considered by some to be the Nobel Prize for computing.