October 17th, 2017

Math researcher to receive U of L honorary degree

By Mabell, Dave on May 25, 2017.

Dave Mabell

Lethbridge Herald


An Albertan who’s attracted more women into mathematics and computer science will be honoured by the University of Lethbridge on June 1.

Maria Klawe, originally from Edmonton, will be cited as a world-class researcher who has made a difference in the lives of many girls and women by improving their representation in these male-dominated fields.

Klawe, now president of Harvey Mudd College in California, will receive an honorary degree during the spring convocation ceremonies.

“We are exceptionally pleased to award Dr. Maria Klawe an honorary doctor of science,” says chancellor Janice Varzari in a release.

“Her research into gender issues in mathematics and computing science, as well as her commitment and hard work to increase the number of women in these fields, is truly outstanding.”

Since Klawe became president at Harvey Mudd, reports Varzari, the proportion of women in its computer science courses has quadrupled to 40 per cent.

A world-class researcher, Klawe has published 84 papers in peer-reviewed venues on topics such as theoretical computer science and mathematics, the use of games in education and promoting more women to enter computer science.

She has also made significant contributions as a senior administrator, the U of L notes. Before being named president of Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif., she had been dean of engineering at Princeton and dean of science at the University of British Columbia.

Klawe also serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations and was a member of the Microsoft board of directors from 2009 to 2015. She developed and designed educational content for a math CD-ROM game and created a mathematical computer adventure game for children aged 10 to 14.

Klawe has also been involved in the development of aids for people who suffer from aphasia, a language impairment, and has most recently turned her attention to improving education in mathematics and science from kindergarten to Grade 12.

Klawe will be presented a doctor of science degree, honoris causa, at Spring Convocation I Ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on June 1.

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