Barbara Ryder, head of Virginia Tech’s Department of Computer Science, is the new vice president of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

ACM is a group of more than 97,000 computing professionals and students who comprise its international membership.

Ryder, who holds the J. Byron Maupin Chaired Professorship of Engineering, said she plans to maintain ACM’s strong voice on technology issues affecting public policy worldwide. She also says she hopes to expand support for computing education from kindergarten through 12th grade, through college and postgraduate levels, and advocates additional support for the ACM’s special interest groups and more meetings outside of North America.

Ryder, who was the ACM secretary/treasurer from 2008–10, chaired the Federated Computing Research Conference in 2003, and ACM’s Special Interest Group on Programming Languages. She was named a Fellow of ACM in 1998 for her seminal contributions to interprocedural compile-time analysis.

Ryder is the first woman to serve as a department head in the nationally ranked College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, Ryder was previously a professor of computer science at Rutgers University.

Ryder received her Ph.D. degree in computer science at Rutgers in 1982. She earned her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in applied mathematics from Brown University in 1969. In 1971 Stanford University awarded her a master’s degree, also in computer science. She previously worked in the 1970s at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J. She has had stints as a visiting researcher at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center, Hawthorne, N.Y., the L’Université Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France, and the Ecole Normale Supériere, Paris, France. She was a visiting associate professor of computer science at Princeton University during 1993-94.

Ryder’s research interests focus on static and dynamic program analyses to improve the software quality of industrial-strength object-oriented systems, for use in practical software tools.