“Any kind of person can be a scientist.”
Maria Klawe began her tenure as Harvey Mudd College’s fifth president in 2006. A renowned computer scientist and scholar, President Klawe is the first woman to lead the College since its founding in 1955.
Prior to joining Harvey Mudd Collge, she served as dean of engineering and professor of computer science at Princeton University. Klawe joined Princeton from the University of British Columbia where she served as dean of science from 1998 to 2002, vice president of student and academic services from 1995 to 1998 and head of the Department of Computer Science from 1988 to 1995. Prior to UBC, Klawe spent eight years with IBM Research in California, and two years at the University of Toronto. She received her Ph.D. (1977) and B.Sc. (1973) in mathematics from the University of Alberta.
Klawe has made significant research contributions in several areas of mathematics and computer science, including functional analysis, discrete mathematics, theoretical computer science, human-computer interaction, gender issues in information technology and interactive-multimedia for mathematics education. Her current research focuses on discrete mathematics.
Klawe is a renowned lecturer and has given talks at international conferences, national symposia, and colleges across the U.S. and Canada about diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines and industries, gender and gaming, and lessons from her own career in STEM industry and education. She has devoted particular attention in recent years to improving K-12 science and mathematics education.
Klawe is a board member of Broadcom Corporation and the nonprofit Math for America, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a trustee for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley and a member of the Stanford Engineering Advisory Council, the Advisory Council for the Computer Science Teachers Association, and the Canada Excellence Research Chairs Selection Board. She is co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Simons Institute at UC Berkeley. She is the recipient of the 2014 Women of Vision ABIE Award for Leadership and was ranked 17 on Fortune’s 2014 list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders and was previously one of the ten members of the board of Microsoft Corporation.
This profile originally appeared on US News STEM Solutions.