Nancy Lynch is the head of the Theory of Distributed Systems research group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, a mathematician, theorist and NEC Professor of Software Science and Engineering. She attended Brooklyn College, where she studied mathematics. She went on to earn a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
She began her career teaching math and computer science at Tufts University, Florida International University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Southern California. She worked with colleagues to show that an asynchronous distributed system does not allow consensus if one processor crashes. Their research was awarded the PODC Influential-Paper Award for 2001, the first of two for Lynch, who was recognized again by the organization in 2007.
She has written many research articles regarding formal modeling and the validation of distributed systems and a widely used graduate textbook, Distributed Algorithms. She is a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and the ACM.
She has also been recognized for her work. In 2006, Lynch was awarded the Van Wijngaarden Award (named for the Dutch mathematician credited as the father of informatics) and in 2007, she won the Knuth Prize.
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