Lynn Conway received an Honorary Doctor of Engineering from the University of Victoria, Nov. 9th, 2016. Lynn is a computer scientist and engineer who helped to pioneer modern information technology and is a leading advocate for transgender rights.
Conway did foundational research in computer architecture at IBM in the 1960s. The company fired her in 1968 as she underwent gender transition and she had to rebuild her career in “stealth” in a new name and identity.
A decade later she was teaching at MIT, co-authoring with Carver Mead the foundational engineering textbook, Introduction to VLSI Systems, innovating an Internet e-commerce system for rapid silicon-chip prototyping that led to today’s industrial models for microelectronics design and production, and receiving many high honors for that work.
Conway came out upon retirement in 1999 as emerita professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan. A tireless voice for trans people, she was included in Time magazine’s 2014 list of 25 transgender people who have influenced American culture.