SIGCAS Making A Difference Award 2006
2006 SIGCAS Making A Difference Award Recipient
BARBARA SIMONS, Past ACM President
The SIGCAS Making a Difference Award is given annually to an individual nationally recognized for work related to the interaction of computers and society. The recipient is a leader in promoting awareness of ethical and social issues in computing. The recipients of this award and the award itself encourage responsible action by computer professionals.
Barbara Simons (center in above photo), ACM President from 1998 to 2000, also founded the USACM, ACM's US Public Policy Committee. An expert on electronic voting, she was a member of the National Workshop on Internet Voting that was convened at the request of President Clinton, and she participated on the Security Peer Review Group for the US Department of Defense's Internet voting project (SERVE) and co-authored the report that led to the cancellation of SERVE due to security concerns. With Doug Jones, she is currently co-authoring a book on voting machines, to be published by PoliPoint.
Dr. Simons served on the President's Export Council's Subcommittee on Encryption and on the Information Technology-Sector of the President's Council on the Year 2000 Conversion. She is on the Board of Directors of the U.C. Berkeley Engineering Fund, Public Knowledge, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center , as well as the Advisory Boards of the Oxford Internet Institute and the Public Interest Registry's .ORG Advisory Council. She has testified before both the U.S. and the California legislatures and at government sponsored hearings. She was runner-up in the first election for the North America seat on the ICANN Board.
Dr. Simons co-founded the Reentry Program for Women and Minorities in the Computer Science Department at U.C. Berkeley. She is also on the Boards of the Coalition to Diversify Computing and the Berkeley Foundation for Opportunities in Information Technology (BFOIT), groups that work at increasing participation in computer science of underrepresented minorities.
Dr. Simons was the first woman to receive the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from the College of Engineering of U.C. Berkeley. She is a Fellow of ACM and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has received the Alumnus of the Year Award from the Berkeley Computer Science Department, the Distinguished Service Award from Computing Research Association, the Norbert Wiener Award from Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, the Outstanding Contribution Award from ACM, and the Pioneer Award from the Electronic Freedom Foundation.
Dr. Simons received her award at a celebratory dinner in West Lafayette, Indiana. Dr. Eugene Spafford (left in photo) of Purdue in West Lafayette, a past SIGCAS award recipient, was present.