AT&T research scientist Mary Fernández, Ph.D., has been recognized with the 2011 Outstanding Technical Achievement-Industry award from HENAAC/Great Minds in STEM, a non-profit organization that focuses on educational awareness of careers in science, technology, engineering and math (collectively known as the STEM fields). Dr. Fernández is executive director of distributed computing research at AT&T Labs, where she leads a research team focused on advancing the design and development of complex distributed systems –from cloud to mobile computing.
"Dr. Fernández represents the best and brightest professionals in the technical world and she happens to be Hispanic,” said Ray Mellado, chairman and CEO of Great Minds in STEM. “In addition to her technical achievements, Dr. Fernández also has an impressive record when it comes to giving her time to inspire future STEM professionals. Our organization is very proud to present the 23rd Annual Outstanding Technical Achievement Award to Dr. Fernández."
Dr. Fernández, who received bachelor and masters degrees in computer science from Brown University and a Ph.D. in computer science from Princeton University, is a leader in the nation’s efforts to encourage minorities and women to pursue careers in science. She is chair of the board of MentorNet, (http://www.mentornet.net/), an award-winning e-mentoring program for students in STEM fields.
“Mentoring is a passion for me because my mentor at AT&T Bell Labs supported me, unfailingly, throughout my Ph.D. program,” said Dr. Fernández. “I believe that education is a gift that leads to wealth of knowledge, experience, and opportunity. We need to share our wealth with students so that they, too, can enjoy the gifts of education.”
Dr. Fernández has published more than 40 articles in scientific conferences and journals on databases, programming languages, and the Web. She is co-editor of several World-Wide Web Consortium (http://www.w3c.org/) recommendations on XML technologies that have become industry standards. She is also past secretary/treasurer of ACM SIGMOD, an international professional organization of database researchers, is past associate editor of ACM Transactions on Database Systems, and currently serves on the board of the Computing Research Association (http://www.cra.org/).