Professor Barbara Liskov was the first US woman to be awarded a PhD in computing, and her innovations can be found in every modern programming language. She currently (2009) heads the Programming Methodology Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Professor Liskov's design innovations have, over the decades, made software more reliable and easier to maintain. She has invented two computer progamming languages: CLU, an object-oriented language, and Argus, a distributed programming language. Liskov's research forms the basis of modern programming languages such as Java, C# and C++.
One of the biggest impacts of her work came from her contributions to the use of data abstraction, a method for organising complex programs. See Liskov substitution principle.
In June 2009 she will receive the A. M. Turing Award.