Computing hall of fame induction

Klaus Advanced Computing Building is a central hub for computing students and is used for lectures and research. // Photo by Maria Fukurawa Student Publications

This past week, the College of Computing had to postpone their Hall of Fame induction event once again.

However, they look forward to being able to induct the most recent classes in the coming year.

Like many other institutions, Tech’s College of Computing started honoring important alumni, faculty and others that have been influential in the field of information sciences inside and outside of Tech.

The College inducted Class Zero in 2018, but the past two classes have not been officially inducted due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s a way to acknowledge two classes of people,” said Ann Claycombe, director of communications for the College of Computing.

Claycombe said the first category is used for alumni who have “really made the most out of this education … holding [them] up as examples to our students.”

Claycombe gave examples of alumni who have graduated from the College of Computing and are now founders of billion dollar companies, and these alumni are also large supporters of the school as well.

This includes financial donations, but also advising the college and offering talks and guidance for current students.

“The other aspect is that we have … people who have taught here who have really played a defining role in creating the College of Computing as it exists today,” she said.

Examples of these inductees include Dorothy Crosland, the founder of information sciences at Tech, and Gus Baird, a prominent and popular professor in the college.

Claycombe summarized the Hall of Fame’s role as “a way of acknowledging our best and brightest, basically, both in terms of the folks who have made the college what it is, and the folks who’ve taken their education from the college to go on and do amazing things with it now.”

Although the induction event scheduled for last Friday was cancelled once again due to COVID-19, the third class of inductees still boasts amazing activities inside and outside of Tech.

One highlight of the inductees is Eugene Spafford, MS CS ‘81, Ph.D. CS ’86, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame as an exemplar of someone who has excelled after their time in the College of Computing. Spafford has worked in computing fields for over 40 years, and is an influential figure in cybersecurity.

He is currently a professor of computer science at Purdue University and was instrumental in establishing the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security at Purdue.

The Hall of Fame also has a “rising star” category, which includes “the folks who are coming up” in the world of computer science, according the Claycombe.

Kathy Pham, CS ‘07 and MS CS ’09, is one of those young rising stars for the third group of inductees.

Pham has worked at Google, IBM, Harris Healthcare and was a founding member of the United States Digital Service at the White House.

She has also founded multiple non-profits which span many distinct fields.

Claycombe said that this year’s inductees were notified of the honor but will have to wait until a safer time to be recognized in person along with the 2020 class.

Until then, Claycombe encourages members of the Tech community to nominate others who they think readily embody the characteristics represented by the current inductees of the Computing Hall of Fame.