Rebecca Parsons

Rebecca Parsons, Rice CS alumna and ThoughtWorks CTO.

Rebecca Parsons (Ph.D. ’92) is ThoughtWorks’ Chief Technology Officer, with decades-long applications development experience across a range of industries and systems.

Her technical experience includes leading the creation of large-scale distributed object applications and the integration of disparate systems. Separate from her passion for deep technology, she is a strong advocate for diversity in the technology industry. Committed to increasing the number of women in coding and STEM fields, she has served on the board of CodeChix and acted as an advisor to Women Who Code.

In 2018, she was recognized with the Anita Borg ABIE Technical Leadership Award.

Read her Rice CS Alumni Profile:



Monica Trilokekar Pal

Rice University Computer Science alumna Monica Trilokekar Pal is the CEO of 4iQ.

Monica Trilokekar Pal (B.A. ’84) started her career as an engineer in Apple R&D working on pioneering secure mail and messaging products. Since then, she has led start-up organizations from the product development phase through go-to-market campaigns. She blends technical expertise with business acumen and her roles in the executive suite have included Co-Founder, CEO and CMO. Currently, she is CEO for 4iQ, a Cyber Intelligence company that operationalizes the Intelligence cycle from open source collection and data fusion to secure collaboration on complex ongoing investigations.

Follow her on Twitter at @Raydiate.

Mary Hall

University of Utah CS professor Mary Hall is a Rice CS alumna.

Mary Hall (B.A. ’85, Ph.D. ’91) is a Professor in the School of Computing at the University of Utah. Her research focuses on compiler-based approaches to obtaining high performance on state-of-the-art and experimental architectures, including multi-cores, GPUs and petascale platforms.

Her research team is developing auto-tuning compiler technology to systematically map application code to make efficient use of these diverse architectures. An auto-tuning compiler generates a set of alternative implementations of a computation, and uses empirical measurement to select the best-performing solution. The team’s compiler can work automatically or collaboratively with application programmers to accelerate their performance tuning and in some cases, produce results far better than is possible with manual tuning. Her group has access to DOE Leadership Class computing facilities, the University of Utah Center for High Performance Computing systems, and an Nvidia Tesla system with over 30,000 cores.

She is also an advocate for improving cultural and gender balance in CS academic programs and industry roles.

“There are times when you doubt yourself,” she said. “We all have. Just remind yourself that you can do it and go find someone who will encourage you. I still need that. Everywhere I’ve worked, I built a network [of people like me] and we help each other.”

Hall talked about reaching into other groups or departments to find and build her network. “Sometimes you have to look a little farther. You look around and you are just surrounded by all these guys – or if you are minority – all these Caucasians and Asians –and you think, ‘no one understands me or what I’m going through’ and it is nice to find those people who you can talk to about that. You help each other.”

Read her Rice CS Alumni Profile:

Lynn Wang

Dr. Lynn Wang, Rice CS alumna and Assistant Professor at UT Health Science Center.

Lynn Wang (B.A. ’02) received her medical degree from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Thereafter, she received fellowship training at Beth Israel Hospital in lower Manhattan. 

She currently practices gastroenterology and hepatology at MD Anderson in the Houston medical center. She speaks Mandarin Chinese fluently and is conversant in medical Spanish.

Wang said her CS training has been beneficial to her career as a doctor, but her first two years in medical school were rough because she had focused on solving complex problems rather than practicing large volume knowledge acquisition.

She drew a parallel between solving software and patient problems. Wang said both start with broad and abstract problems. Software is usually designed in broad strokes and finalized with minutiae. Wang feels a good engineer can see all the levels of detail at the same time and is adept at going back and forth between the perspectives.

Read her Rice CS Alumni Profile:

Kathryn McKinley

Rice University CS alumna and Google Senior Research Staff Scientist Kathryn McKinley.

Kathryn McKinley (B.A. ’85, M.S. ’90, Ph.D. ’92) is a Senior Staff Research Scientist at Google, but she launched her career as a Computer Science professor at the University of Massachusets at Amherst and the University of Texas at Austin.

She is interested in creating systems (programming languages, compilers, runtimes, and architectures) that make programming easy and the resulting programs correct and efficient. She and her collaborators have produced several widely used tools: the DaCapo Java Benchmarks (30,000+ downloads), the TRIPS Compiler, Hoard memory manager, MMTk memory management toolkit, and the Immix garbage collector.

Her awards include the ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Software Award; ACM SIGPLAN Distinguished Service Award; and Best and Test-of-Time paper awards from ASPLOS, OOPSLA, ICS, SIGMETRICS, IEEE Micro Top Picks, SIGPLAN Research Highlights, and CACM Research Highlights. She served as program chair for ASPLOS, PACT, PLDI, ISMM, and CGO. She is currently a CRA and CRA-W Board member. She is an IEEE Fellow and an ACM Fellow and has graduated 22 Ph.D. students.

She is also an advocate for gender parity across technology-related programs and careers in academia and industry. Her February 2018 SIGARCH blog post, “What Happens to Us Does Not Happen to Most of You,” helped start deeper conversations and subsequent action in the CS academic community.

Read her Rice CS Alumni Profile:

Heidi Hunter

Rice CS alumna Heidi Hunter.

Heidi Hunter (B.A. ’02) is interested in how humans and technology interact.  As the Internet became more prevalent in her early career, she watched it become integrated with an increasing number of day-to-day activities.

She said, “I was interested in how people use systems. If something isn’t working, don’t blame your users. Blame your system, and then fix it to better fit the users.”

With a career that has spanned Europe and the United States, she is an experienced developer, systems architect, and tech lead with experience in the public and private sectors. She prefers to work in mission-driven enterprises with a goal to change political and economic systems for the public good. This, combined with an interest in international development, led to several years working at the United Nations. She is currently working as a tech lead or advisor for a few East Coast startups including equity crowdfunding, medical communications, and human services resource management.

Read her Rice CS Alumni Profile: