Barbara Simons received her Ph.D. in 1981 in computer science from the University of California at Berkeley. In 1980 she joined the Research Division of IBM, and she is currently a member of the Application Development Technology Institute in the IBM Software Solutions Division. Her main areas of research are compiler optimization and scheduling. Her dissertation solved a major open problem in scheduling theory, and she has received an IBM Research Division Award for work on clock synchronization. She has authored or coauthored many papers and two books. She is a National Lecturer for the ACM.
Dr. Simons is a Fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and ACM. In 1992 she was awarded the CPSR Norbert Wiener Award for Professional and Social Responsibility in Computing, and she was recently selected as one of Open Computing's top 100 women in computing. Dr. Simons chairs USACM, the ACM U.S. Public Policy Committee. She was ACM secretary in 1990 - 92, and prior to that she was chair of the ACM Committee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights. She was also vice-chair of SIGACT, the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Theory, and she served as the Project Advisor to the Project on Funding Policy in Computer Science, which she organized. Dr. Simons was a co-founder of the U.C. Berkeley Computer Science Department Reentry Program for Women and Minorities.