Mary Lou Soffa of the University of Virginia received the ACM-IEEE Computer Society Ken Kennedy Award for contributions to detecting and managing software security flaws. She developed software tools for debugging and testing programs to eliminate or reduce false alarms and improve operating efficiency. Her research produced automatic, practical solutions in software engineering, systems and programming languages for improving software reliability, security and productivity. Mary Lou was presented the Kennedy award on November 13th in Salt Lake City at SC12, the international conference for high performance computing, networking, storage, and analysis.
A leading researcher in programming languages, Mary Lou provided analytical and experimental models for understanding, predicting, and verifying the optimization of software. She has held leadership roles in prominent national and international organizations, among them CRA and CRA-W, and ACM Special Interest Groups SIGSOFT and SIGPLAN. Soffa currently serves on the ACM Publications Board and on the ACM Council.
The Kennedy Award cited Mary Lou for “contributions to compiler technology and software engineering, exemplary service to the profession, and life-long dedication to mentoring and improving diversity in computing.” She is the Owen R. Cheatham Professor at the University of Virginia.
ACM and the Computer Society co-sponsor the Kennedy Award, which was established in 2009 to recognize substantial contributions to programmability and productivity in computing and significant community service or mentoring contributions. It was named for the late Ken Kennedy, founder of Rice University’s computer science program and a world expert on high-performance computing. The award carries a $5,000 honorarium endowed by the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Architecture and the IEEE Computer Society.