Bard College Professor of Computer Science Valerie Barr Elected 2022 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

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Valerie Barr (photo credit: Shaunessy Renker ’23)

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— Valerie Barr, Bard College’s Margaret Hamilton Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, has been elected as a 2022 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Barr, who teaches in the Computer Science Program, is “being honored for distinguished contributions to computer science education, and to increasing the diversity in the computing fields,” writes the AAAS.

“I am honored that the computer science section of AAAS is recognizing diversity work in computing,” said Barr. “I look forward to continuing this work broadly in the context of the NSF-funded Alliance for Identity-Inclusive Computing Education, led by Drs. Nicki Washington and Shaundra Daily at Duke University, and locally as we develop curricula that will expose students to computing across all disciplines encompassed by the Bard Network.”

“Margaret Hamilton Distinguished Professor of Computer Science Valerie Barr has been recognized as an outstanding scientist, educator, and groundbreaking leader in higher education. Professor Barr’s dedication to increasing diversity in computer science has wide-reaching implications for transformative curriculum and pedagogy.  Her work foregrounds the critical importance of computation as she challenges liberal arts institutions to expand our understanding of the interdependence of STEM and humanities. We are honored to welcome her distinctive expertise and vision as she steps into faculty leadership at Bard,” said Dean of the College and Professor of English Deirdre d’Albertis.

Barr is the second Bard faculty member to be honored with this AAAS distinction. David and Rosalie Rose Distinguished Professor of Science, Mathematics, and Computing Felicia Keesing, who teaches in the Biology Program, was elected as a 2021 fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Valerie Barr, Margaret Hamilton Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, is a groundbreaking computer scientist who has been a national leader in efforts to broaden participation in computing and connect the field to a wide array of liberal arts disciplines. She comes to Bard from Mount Holyoke College, where she was chair of the Computer Science department, and is eager to explore what students, and not just computer science students, “need to know about computing in order to actively critique and challenge the current pace and impact of technological change.”

In addition to teaching, Barr has been involved with curriculum development and computing education. Her research projects have been funded repeatedly over the past two decades by the National Science Foundation. Her research interests also include reanalyzing degree attainment data to better identify and understand long-standing trends in the areas of gender, race, and ethnicity, and in software testing, particularly as applied to artificial intelligence and language processing systems. In addition to Mount Holyoke, she has taught at Union College, Hofstra University, Pratt Institute, and Rutgers University. She received her BA from Mount Holyoke College; MS from New York University; and PhD from Rutgers University. She has been on Bard faculty since 2022.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals, has elected more than 500 scientists, engineers and innovators from around the world and across all disciplines to the 2022 class of AAAS Fellows, one of the most distinguished honors within the scientific community. The newly elected Fellows are being recognized for their scientific and socially notable achievements spanning their careers. View the 2022 class of AAAS Fellows here.

“AAAS is proud to elevate these standout individuals and recognize the many ways in which they’ve advanced scientific excellence, tackled complex societal challenges and pushed boundaries that will reap benefits for years to come,” said Sudip S. Parikh, Ph.D., AAAS chief executive officer and executive publisher of the Science family of journals.

This year’s class has moved their fields forward, paving the way for scientific advances that benefit society. They bring diverse and novelty thinking, innovative approaches and passion that will help solve the world’s most complex problems. The new class hails from academic institutions, laboratories and observatories, hospitals and medical centers, museums, global corporations, nonprofit organizations, institutes and government agencies (including from the U.S. presidential administration).

The new Fellows will receive a certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin (representing science and engineering, respectively) to commemorate their election and will be celebrated in Washington, D.C., in summer 2023. They will also be featured in the AAAS News & Notes section of Science in February 2023.