Mary Shaw


Mary Shaw
Associated organizations
Carnegie-Mellon University
Fields of study
Stevens Award, Warnier Prize


Mary Shaw is a software engineer and the Alan J. Perlis Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie-Mellon University. She is one of the founding members of the field of software architecture.

Mary Shaw was born in 1943. She received her B.A. (cum laude) from Rice University and worked in systems programming and research at the Research Analysis Corporation and Rice University. She obtained her Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University. She has been a member of the faculty at Carnegie Mellon since she completed her Ph.D. degree in 1972. Shaw co-authored her first book with Frank Hole in 1967, much before she had finished her PhD. In 1981, she co-authored another book, this time with Alan Perlis and Frederick Sayward, on software metrics.

From 1984 to 1987, Mary Shaw was the Chief Scientist at Carnegie- Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute. From 1992 to 1999, she served as the Asociate Dean for Professional Education. Between 1997 and 1998 she was a Fellow of the Center for Innovation in Learning. For six years from 2001 to 2006, Shaw served as Co-Director of the Sloan Software Industry Center. Shaw has co-authored seminal works on software architecture with David Garlan, particularly the 1996 book Software Architecture: Perspectives on an Emerging Discipline’. In 2011, Shaw and Garlan received the Outstanding Research Award from the Association of Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Software Engineering, for their lasting contributions to the promotion of software architecture.

Shaw's main area of interest is software engineering and programming systems. She does research on software architecture, end user software engineering and cybersociotechnical systems. She has worked on software design projects at the architectural level, like Vituvius, Unicon and also on adaptive software, reliable and everyday software, predictive design evaluation for software and software metrics. Her research interests also include technology transition, abstract data types, analysis of algorithms and programming language design like Alphard and Tartan. Shaw has taught numerous undergraduate and graduate courses and has also participated in developing innovative curricula in Computer Science for college teaching from the introductory to research level.

Shaw has authored and edited seven books and over two hundred research papers and technical reports. She has received numerous prestigious awards for her contributions to software engineering, including the Stevens Award and the Warnier Prize. She is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).