Elaine Weyuker
Elaine Weyuker
Software Engineer, Independent Researcher and Consultant
Close Up

More Engineers!

April Blackwell
Colleen Spiegel
Anita Riddle
Suniti Bidikar
Missy Cummings
Adriana Beal
Vanithashrree Raja
Xiaoyun Yang
Ashley Stubbe
Anjali Sardana
Carmen Espinal
Sheri Sheppard

I grew up in the Bronx, New York, attending public schools. Luckily, after successfully completing an entrance exam, I attended the Bronx High School of Science, where about one-fourth of the students were female. After high school, I went to the State University of New York in Binghamton, where I majored in mathematics. I graduated after 3 1/2 years and worked for eight months as a computer programmer for Texaco. I had never even seen a computer before joining Texaco so I spent some of that time teaching myself to program. I went to graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, which was one of the few schools in the country to offer a degree in computer science at that time. At Penn, there were several hundred male students and only a handful of women students. It was very isolating. After completing my master's degree, I took a job as a systems engineer at IBM. After a year, I started teaching at a small college in the City University of New York. I was the entire Computer Science department, and got to teach many different subjects. After six years, I returned to get a Ph.D. at Rutgers University. After completing my dissertation on the Theory of Computation, I became a professor at New York University. Although my first publications were in theory, I soon changed my research focus to software engineering, and specifically software testing. Most of my research has focused on making software highly reliable and dependable. It is a real challenge to develop techniques to make sure that it all works correctly and efficiently! I have now published about 170 papers in journals and refereed conference proceedings. After 18 years at NYU, I moved to AT&T so I could have access to AT&T's large software systems and get to try out my ideas on these systems. I have been very lucky all of my life. I got lots of encouragement from my parents and teachers. I had scholarships and fellowships to help pay my way throughout school. The biggest challenge I face in my career involves the relatively small numbers of women I meet at most professional events. I have endured some sexism, and it sometimes took all the courage I could muster to speak up when people made inappropriate assumptions based on gender, but it was important, and I am glad that I have tried to make things better for women in the field. I have mentored a number of women starting out in their careers, and I have found it very rewarding. The biggest professional accomplishments have been being named a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the IEEE, and an AT&T Fellow, and especially being made a member of the National Academy of Engineering. I have also won several major awards. I chaired the ACM Women's Council from 2004 - 2012 with a mission to encourage girls and women to study/work in computing. I love to swim, bike, and hike. I also knit and design sweaters. I have a daughter who is now a PhD student in Cognitive Science. You can see her in my photo. My Mom, also in the photo, was a Phi Beta Kappa mathematics major who graduated from college in 1936! The last person in the photo is my husband who I met in graduate school. He also has a PhD in Computer Science is is often my primary research collaborator.

Read More Read Less
Volunteer Opportunities
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to serve as science fair judge or other temporary volunteer at a local school.