Mary Jean Harrold

Mary Jean Harrold (March 12, 1947 – September 19, 2013) was an American computer scientist noted for her research on software engineering. She was also noted for her leadership in broadening participation in computing. She was on the boards of both CRA and CRA-W and was Co-Chair of CRA-W from 2003-2006.[1]

Mary Jean Harrold
Born(1947-03-12)March 12, 1947
DiedSeptember 19, 2013(2013-09-19) (aged 66)
Huntington, WV
Alma materMarshall University
University of Pittsburgh
Known forsoftware engineering
AwardsACM Fellow (2003)
IEEE Fellow (2011)
Scientific career
FieldsComputer Science
InstitutionsGeorgia Institute of Technology
Ohio State University
Clemson University
University of Pittsburgh
Doctoral advisorMary Lou Soffa


Harrold received a B.A. in Mathematics in 1970 and a M.S. in Mathematics in 1975, both from Marshall University. Harrold taught secondary mathematics in West Virginia, South Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania from 1970-1982. She then attended graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh. She received a M.S. in Computer Science in 1985 and a Ph.D in Computer Science in 1988, both from University of Pittsburgh. Her dissertation adviser was Prof. Mary Lou Soffa.

She stayed at the University of Pittsburgh as a Visiting Assistant Professor. Then in 1990 she started at Clemson University as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1995. In 1996 she started as an Assistant Professor at Ohio State University and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1998. In 1999, she moved to the Georgia Institute of Technology as an Associate Professor, and was promoted to Professor in 2003.

Harrold was involved with the SIGSOFT community. She was General Chair of the conference SIGSOFT in 2008.[2]


Mary Jean Harrold was named an ACM Fellow in 2003.[3]

In 2004, as a current CRA-W co-chair, Harrold (along with Prof. Carla Ellis and Dr. Jan Cuny) accepted the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) award on behalf of CRA-W, for "significant achievements in mentoring women across educational levels".[4][5]

Her other notable awards include:

  • In 2011, she was named an IEEE Fellow "for contributions to software systems".[6]
  • She is currently listed as the third top software engineering author of all time.[7]
  • In 2007, ACM named her the top ranking software engineering researcher in the world.[8]


  1. Fisher, Lawrence M. (2013-09-23). "In Memoriam: Mary Jean Harrold 1947 2013". Communications of the ACM. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  2. Acm sigsoft. "ACM SIGSOFT 2008/FSE 16". ACM. Archived from the original on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
  3. ACM (2003-12-11). "ACM NAMES 30 FELLOWS AS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACHIEVERS". ACM. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
  4. Computing Research Association (2004). "President Honors CRA-W for Mentoring Efforts". Computing Research Association. Retrieved 2013-09-23.
  5. National Science Foundation (2004). "President Bush Honors Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring". National Science Foundation. Retrieved 2013-09-23.
  6. Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineering (2011). "Fellow Class of 2011". Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering. Archived from the original on 2013-04-30. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
  7. Microsoft's Academic Search (2013). "Top Authors in Software Engineering". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
  8. "Facts and Ratings- GT College of Computing".
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