NCWIT Pioneer Award

The NCWIT Pioneer Award recognizes technical women whose lifetime contributions have significantly impacted the landscape of technological innovation, amplifying the importance of capitalizing on the diverse perspectives that girls and women can bring to the table. Pioneer Award recipients also serve as role models whose legacies continue to inspire generations of young women to pursue computing and make history in their own right.

Congratulations to the 2016 winner of the NCWIT Pioneer Award -- Cynthia Solomon!

Cynthia Solomon’s focus has been on creating fun-filled, thoughtful, personally expressive, and aesthetically pleasing learning environments for children. Her work has spanned several important collaborations, including her four-decade-long collaboration on Logo, the first programming language and programming environment designed specifically for children. In the course of building Logo and its successor learning environments, Cynthia was a founder of Logo Computer Systems and directed the development of Apple Logo, the first commercial version of Logo. In addition, her seminal book, “Computer Environments for Children,” was the first comprehensive reflection on computers in education, and her paper with Seymour Papert, “Twenty Things to do with a Computer,” is a classic in the field.

Cynthia received a BA in History at Radcliffe College, a MA in Computer Science from Boston University, and a PhD in Education at Harvard University. She serves on the program committees of Constructing Modern Knowledge and the Marvin Minsky Institute on Artificial Intelligence.

We will honor Cynthia Solomon at the 2016 NCWIT Summit on Women and IT.

Past Pioneer Award winners include computer scientist and programmer Jean E. Sammet who is best-known for her work on FORMAC, mathematicians Patricia Palombo and Lucy Simon Rakov who worked on NASA's Project Mercury at a time when computing was in its infancy, IBM's Eleanor Kolchin, as well as NASA Mathematicians Katherine Johnson for her critical space flight trajectories and Dr. Christine Darden for her expertise in the areas of the sonic boom.