This article is published in the May 2021 issue.

CRA’s Betsy Bizot Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

BizotCRA’s Betsy Bizot recently received the 2021 Distinguished Alumni award from the Virginia Tech Department of Computer Science. This award recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions in research and/or practice.

From the Virginia Tech announcement:

When asked to reflect upon a typical career path, alumna Betsy Bizot (’78) said, “I’m not even sure what a typical computer science career path is, given how quickly it changes. I suppose it’s working on development, although your product and your tool kit in a few years may be something that doesn’t exist right now.”

The recipient of the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award also emphasized the need to be adaptable and flexible in this changing environment. “There is almost nothing that can’t be combined with computing: digital media, digital humanities, informatics, data science, and computing as a tool for other sciences,” she said. “And looked at from the other direction, the basic analytical tools of computer science and computational thinking can apply to almost anything–think big!”

Bizot feels great pride in being a part of the computing profession, knowing that she is making a difference in the world in very tangible ways. “I find great satisfaction in finding a way to organize a lot of data to tell a story or offer a clear picture of something complex.”

Bizot’s work supports of the CRA Taulbee Survey, which was honored last year with the 2020 Service to CRA Award in recognition of 50 years of providing an invaluable resource to CRA as well as to the computing community. The CRA Taulbee Survey is the principal source of information on the enrollment, production, and employment of PhDs in information, computer science and computer engineering (I, CS & CE) in North America. It also provides salary and demographic data for faculty in these areas, and statistics given also report gender and ethnicity breakdowns. The results provide useful data to CRA member departments and are often referenced by national media.