Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

April 09, 2003

Anita Borg, 54, a pioneering computer scientist who worked to break the "silicon ceiling" that often kept women and minorities from rising to the top of the high-tech industry, died of brain cancer Sunday in Sonoma, Calif.

She was in her 20s when she decided to get a degree in programming, eventually earning a doctorate in computer science from the Courant Institute at New York University in 1981. She held jobs ranging from startups to Digital Equipment Corp.

While attending an industry conference in 1987, she noticed only a handful of women were present. She started Systers, an e-mail group that provided support, mentoring and encouragement to women in computing. Today, Systers has more than 2,500 members in 38 countries.

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