Tuesday, June 11, 2024

It Is With A Sad Heart, That I Tell You We Have Lost A Pioneer.

We have lost a truly great pioneer whose work made it possible for you to read this on your computer, smartphone, tablet, and another computer device. She not only made the internet possible but also the computer revolution.

Here are just a few of her awards,
    Fellow of the IEEE, 1985, "for contributions to VLSI technology
    National Achievement Award, Society of Women Engineers 1990
    Presidential Appointment to the United States Air Force Academy Board of Visitors, 1996
    Computer Pioneer Award, IEEE Computer Society, 2009
    Fellow Award, American Association for the Advance of Science (AAAS), 2016
She rightfully could have she laid the foundation to computer age, here is her obituary.
Lynn Ann Conway
January 2, 1938 – June 9, 2024
Prepared by Dallas Denny
June 10, 2024

An Obituary
Lynn Ann Conway was an electrical engineer, computer scientist, and an activist on behalf of transgender people. She died in Jackson, Michigan on Sunday, June 9, 2024 of heart trouble.

Lynn was born in Mount Vernon, New York on January 2, 1938. She was a reserved but exceptionally bright student who attended MIT but did not graduate due a difficult and ultimately unsuccessful gender transition. She continuing her education at Columbia University, where she earned B.S. and M.S.E.E. degrees in 1962 and 1963, respectively. In 1994, she accepted a position as a researcher at IBM’s facility in Yorktown Heights, New York. There, she worked with others on an advanced supercomputer project. She was fired in 1968 when it became known that she intended to transition. IBM later apologized for that action.

That same year, Lynn consulted Dr. Harry Benjamin and became a patient. She completed her gender transition, also in 1968. In a divorce, she was denied the right to visit with her minor children.
Using her new name, Lynn continued work as a computer research scientist, working at Computer Applications, Inc., Memorex, and, Xerox PARC, and DARPA. In 1985, she became a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan and, simultaneously, Associate Dean of Engineering.

Lynn’s post-transition accomplishments were foundational in the develop of computers, but her pre-transition work was not credited to her until 1998, when a researcher who was examining IBM’s three decades old supercomputer project discovered that a scientist he had been unable to identity had become known as Lynn Conway. For Lynn, this resulted in a difficult decision to come out as transgender. She has since been hailed not only for her myriad post-transition accomplishments, but for her earlier work. She is famous for, among many other things, launching the Mead-Conway VLSI chip design revolution.

Lynn was well-known in transgender circles for her accomplishments and for her website, on which she told her personal story and worked to advance the rights of transgender people. She is perhaps best known in this regard for her criticism of Ray Blanchard’s theory of autogynephilia and a failed lawsuit, with Dierdre McCloskey, against J. Michael Bailey author of The Man Who Would be Queen.
In 2002, Lynn married her long-time boyfriend Charles Rogers. They lived on a 24-acre wooded property in rural Michigan.

Sandra Samons, a therapist in Ann Arbor and a long-time friend of Lynn’s, asked me tonight to share the following information:

Lynn Conway died yesterday, June 9, 2024
Her husband Charlie Rogers can be contacted at cwrogers@voyager.net
Arrangements are still incomplete, but Lyyn Conway’s  funeral will be held at: Sherwood Funeral Home, 1109 Norvell Rd., Grass Lake, MI 49240 (Tel. 517-522-3000, URL www.sherwoodfh.com.
Service will be at 1 pm Saturday, June 22 with visitation the night before from 4-7 pm.
I have written many times about her the one I like best is when before I came out I found an article about her co-discovery of the Dynamic Instructions Scheduling which broke the computer speed barrier (Little Did I Know). Another article A Success Story I write about all her achievements.
It was reading about her that made me realize that transitioning was possible for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment