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Klaus Tschira Medal awarded to Austrian woman

The Klaus Tschira Foundation and the Gesellschaft für Informatik have awarded Austrian computer science pioneer Christiane Floyd the Klaus Tschira Medal.
E-3 Magazine
December 16, 2020
[shutterstock: 1142579969, AlexRoz]
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

With Christiane Floyd, the Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI) and the Klaus-
Tschira Foundation (KTS) an impressive scientist and computer science pioneer who provided the first and groundbreaking impetus for a diverse image of computer science.

The medal, named after the SAP co-founder, is awarded every two years to a personality for his or her special contributions to the use and further development of information technology methods in various fields of application.
Christiane Floyd studied mathematics and philosophy at the Vienna University of Technology.

After receiving her doctorate with a thesis on algebra, she worked on the development of an Algol-60 compiler at Siemens in Munich. After further positions at Stanford University and Softlab in Munich, she became the first female computer science professor in the German-speaking world to hold the chair for software engineering at the TU Berlin in 1978.

Hannes Federrath, President of the German Informatics Society (l.), and Christiane Floyd at the Klaus Tschira Medal award ceremony.

In 1991, she moved to the University of Hamburg and remained there until her retirement. Under her leadership, the view of software development, which had previously been fixated exclusively on technical and formal aspects, was expanded to include socio-technical issues. She became known in this context with "STEPS - Software Engineering for Evolutionary, Participative System Development", with which she explored the idea of agile working at an early stage. At the same time, she advocated an ethical and philosophical view of technical systems and has always demanded that information systems be designed to be as human-oriented as possible.

In 1984, Christiane Floyd founded the "Forum InformatikerInnen für Frieden und gesellschaftliche Verantwortung" (FIfF) together with other computer scientists. As one of the founding chairs of the FIfF, she demanded that her guild deal with ethics as well as mathematics. She continually campaigned against the misuse of technologies such as artificial intelligence, and was thus also ahead of her time.

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