Biography of President Maria Klawe

Harvey Mudd College is led by Maria Klawe, the College’s fifth president, who began her tenure in 2006. A renowned mathematician, computer scientist and scholar, President Klawe is the first woman to lead the College since its founding in 1955. Prior to joining Harvey Mudd, she served as dean of engineering and professor of computer science at Princeton University. During her time at Princeton, Klawe led the School of Engineering and Applied Science through a strategic planning exercise that created an exciting and widely embraced vision for the school. At Harvey Mudd College, she led a similarly ambitious strategic planning initiative, “HMC 2020: Envisioning the Future.” (PDF)


Before Harvey Mudd

Klawe joined Princeton from the University of British Columbia where she served as dean of science from 1998 to 2002, vice president of student and academic services from 1995 to 1998 and head of the Department of Computer Science from 1988 to 1995. Prior to UBC, Klawe spent eight years with IBM Research in California, and two years at the University of Toronto. She received her PhD (1977) and BSc (1973) in mathematics from the University of Alberta.

Research Contribution

Klawe has made significant research contributions in several areas of mathematics and computer science, including functional analysis, discrete mathematics, theoretical computer science, human-computer interaction, gender issues in information technology and interactive-multimedia for mathematics education. Her current research focuses on discrete mathematics.

Leadership Roles

Klawe is a past president of the Association of Computing Machinery in New York, past chair of the board of trustees of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology in Palo Alto, and a past trustee of the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics in Los Angeles. Klawe has held leadership positions with the American Mathematical Society, the Computing Research Association, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and the Canadian Mathematical Society.

Awards and Honors

Klawe is one of the ten members of the board of Microsoft Corporation, a board member of Broadcom Corporation and the nonprofit Math for America, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a trustee for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley and a member of both the Stanford Engineering Advisory Council and the Advisory Council for the Computer Science Teachers Association. She was elected as a fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery in 1996 and as a founding fellow of the Canadian Information Processing Society in 2006. Awards include Vancouver YWCA Women of Distinction Award in Science and Technology (1997); Wired Woman Pioneer (2001); Canadian New Media Educator of the Year (2001); BC Science Council Champion of the Year (2001); University of Alberta Distinguished Alumna; Nico Habermann Award; and honorary doctorates from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Acadia University; the University of British Columbia; Dalhousie University; Queen’s University; the University of Waterloo; and Ryerson University.