Klawe Awarded Distinction of AAAS Fellow

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Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College, has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society.

Klawe is one of 489 new fellows elected in 2020 by the association. Fellows are recognized for their important contributions to STEM disciplines, including pioneering research, leadership within a given field, teaching and mentoring, fostering collaborations, and advancing public understanding of science. A virtual induction ceremony for the new fellows will be held Feb. 13, 2021.

Klawe was recognized for “exceptional leadership and contributions to increasing the participation of women in computer science and STEM fields.”

She began her tenure as Harvey Mudd College’s fifth president in 2006. A renowned computer scientist and scholar, she is the first woman to lead the College since its founding in 1955. She 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.

Prior to joining HMC, she served as dean of engineering and professor of computer science at Princeton University. Klawe joined Princeton from the University of British Columbia where she served in various roles from 1988 to 2002. 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. Klawe is a board member of the Alliance for Southern California Innovation, the nonprofit Math for America, the chair of the board of the nonprofit EdReports.org, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and a trustee for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley. She was named a 2019 Fellow of the Association for Women in Mathematics and is the recipient of the 2014 Women of Vision ABIE Award for Leadership and the 2017 Academic Leadership Award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

The tradition of electing AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Since then, the recognition has gone to thousands of distinguished scientists, such as inventor Thomas Edison, elected in 1878, sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois (1905), computer scientist Grace Hopper (1963) and astronaut Ellen Ochoa (2012). In order to be considered for the rank of Fellow, an AAAS member must be nominated by three previously elected Fellows, the steering group of an AAAS section, or the organization’s CEO. AAAS leadership has long encouraged its sections and Council to consider diversity when nominating and selecting Fellows, and the association has taken recent steps toward solidifying its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.