(AP) -- One of the most prestigious prizes in computing, the $100,000 Turing Award, went to a woman Wednesday for the first time in the award's 40-year history.
Frances E. Allen, 74, was honored for her work at IBM Corp. on techniques for optimizing the performance of compilers, the programs that translate one computer language into another.
This process is required to turn programming code into the binary zeros and ones actually read by a computer's colossal array of minuscule switches.
Allen joined IBM in 1957 after completing a master's degree in mathematics at the University of Michigan. At the time, IBM recruited women by circulating a brochure on campuses that was titled "My Fair Ladies."