Mary Jane Irwin: American computer scientist | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Mary Jane Irwin
American computer scientist

Mary Jane Irwin

Mary Jane Irwin
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American computer scientist
Is Engineer Computer scientist
From United States of America
Field Engineering Technology Science
Gender female
The details (from wikipedia)


Mary Jane Irwin is the Evan Pugh Professor and A. Robert Noll Chair in Engineering in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. She has been on the faculty at Penn State since 1977. She is an international expert in computer architecture. Her research and teaching interests include computer architecture, embedded and mobile computing systems design, power and reliability aware design, and emerging technologies in computing systems.



Mary Jane Irwin received her B.S. in Mathematics from Memphis State University in 1971, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois in 1975 and 1977, respectively. Her dissertation research on the topic of computer arithmetic was supervised by Dr. James Robertson.


Mary Jane Irwin joined the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University as an assistant professor in 1977. She was promoted to the rank of full professor in 1989.

Irwin has worked in the area of application-specific architectures, including the design, implementation, and field-testing of three different board level designs---the Arithmetic Cube, the MGAP and SPARTA. With her student Robert M. Owens they developed a suite of architecture, logic and circuit design tools including ARTIST, PERFLEX, LOGICIAN, and DECOMPOSER.

In late 1993, Irwin worked in the area of resource constrained systems design including embedded systems that have limited battery life and limited memory space and sensor network systems that have extremely limited resources. With colleagues she developed an architectural level power simulator, SimplePower.

Irwin's recent work is in mixed technology circuits.

Service to the Computing Community

Irwin has extensive service to the Computer Science research community. She is a member of the Board on Army Science and Technology, of ACM's Fellows Selection Committee, of Microsoft Research's External Research Advisory Board, and of NAE's Committee on Membership (Chair for the Class of 2012). Previously she served as a founding co-Editor-in-Chief of ACM's Journal on Emerging Technologies in Computing Systems and as Editor-in-Chief of ACM's Transactions on the Design Automation of Electronic Systems, as an elected member of the CRA's Board of Directors, of the IEEE Computer Society's Board of Governors, of ACM's Council, and as Vice President of ACM. She was also a long-time board member of CRA-W, the CRA's Committee on the Status of Women, where she is now a member emerita.

Personal life

Mary Jane Irwin was married in July 1966 has one son, John, who is also a computer scientist, and daughter-in-law, Alla, and have two grandchildren, Kai and Milo.

Honors and awards

Irwin was inducted into the AAAS in 2009. In 2010, she received the ACM Athena Lecturer Award, having been separately nominated by both the Computer Architecture and the Design Automation research communities. Irwin received an Honorary Doctorate from Chalmers University, Sweden.

A list of all her awards follows.

  • 2012 ASP-DAC Ten-Year Retrospective Most Influential Paper Award
  • 2010 ACM Athena Lecturer Award
  • 2009 American Association for the Advancement of Science AAAS Fellow
  • 2007 Anita Borg Technical Leadership Award
  • 2006 Computing Research Association (CRA) Distinguished Service Award
  • 2005 ACM Distinguished Service Award
  • 2004 Marie R. Pistilli Women in Electronic Design Automation Award
  • 2003 IEEE/CAS VLSI Transactions Best Paper of the Year Award
  • 2003 inducted into the NAE
  • 1996 ACM Fellow
  • 1994 IEEE Fellow
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