Anna Patterson

Anna Patterson

The Technical Leadership ABIE Award recognizes women technologists who demonstrate leadership through their contributions to technology and achievements in increasing the impact of women on technology. This year’s winner, Anna Patterson, is currently Vice President of Engineering, Artificial Intelligence for Google and is primarily concerned with teaching computers to read and write. She is the Global Co-Chair of Women@Google, the Chair for Technical Women at Google.

Women@Google is the largest employee resource group at Google consisting of 9000 women throughout the company. During Anna’s 15 month tenure, the technical Women@Google’s membership has more than doubled. The internal women’s leadership conference at Google will be tech-only this year to focus on content and education specifically for rising women technical leaders.

She is also currently a trustee at Harvey Mudd College, a Claremont College, and a trustee at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute which focuses, one at a time, on a deep mathematical topic and gathers the world’s authorities to make progress. She is a co-founder of Progressive Women of Silicon Valley which helps host women candidates and causes in Silicon Valley, and raises over $1 million a year for these causes.

While she was in Android, she was responsible for algorithms and infrastructure, including Google Play, Books and Search and Recommendations, and Infrastructure for scaling up Android from 40 million phones to over a billion phones. She replaced the Search and Recommendations of Android Marketplace then continued building Google Play through launching Books, Movies and Music. Google Play serves over a billion customers and is the world’s largest app marketplace.

Before Android at Google, she was the architect and inventor of Google’s large search serving system TeraGoogle which, when it launched, was 50 times cheaper per search per document than the previous search infrastructure. TeraGoogle won a Google’s Founders‘ Award in 2007. She also led ranking efforts in web search through Google’s IPO to determine the top ten search results, and led the rewrite of ranking function for TeraGoogle.

She is the co-founder of Cuil, a clustering-based search engine startup, and wrote Recall.archive.org, a history-based search engine out of the Internet Archive which showed trends over time. It was the first keyword-based search engine over the internet archive’s data and when it launched in 2003 had an index of 11 billion web pages. She wrote “Why writing your own search engine is hard” in the ACM Queue about this experience. She spoke at Google I/O in 2013 regarding her career history in „7 techmakers and a microphone.“

Anna Patterson received her B.S. in Computer Science from Washington University and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois – Champaign Urbana with a dissertation entitled, “Implicit Programming and the Logic of Constructible Duality.” In mathematics, she is most known for the CONCUR result that “Two finite Kripke structures are bisimilar if and only if they have the same set of valid formulas.” She was a Research Scientist at Stanford University in Artificial Intelligence working with John McCarthy on Phenomenal Data Mining.

Read our interview with Anna here.

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Roe v. Wade Has Been Overturned. You Have Every Right to Be Upset. Here’s how to take action

We at AnitaB.org, are disheartened and dismayed by the United States Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark ruling that enabled the right of an abortion to people around the nation. AnitaB.org brings together allies and champions across every sector to advance intersectional gender equity in technology. The technologists we support are also people impacted by targeted oppressive and unjust laws including laws that restrict reproductive rights. Not only do we empower technologists through our year-long programming but, we also advocate for better systemic solutions for the workforce and for their humanity. 

In response to the Supreme Court ruling, we are joining to elevate the calls to action of our social justice colleagues and community partners. 

If you feel called to do something today or in the next coming days, here are some action steps:  

  • Support and donate to Repro Legal Defense Fund, which is a national organization that covers bail and funds strong defense for people who are investigated, arrested, or prosecuted for abortion. Because no one should be behind bars for ending their pregnancy or helping someone else do so.
  • Support and donate to Plan C, an educational resource for learning about how people in the US access abortion pills.
  • Support and donate to your local Planned Parenthood, independent abortion clinics, and abortion funds.
  • Go to the streets and join a protest near you. Most protests are happening today at 5 PM at the federal courthouses or state capitols.

AnitaB.org is also launching a political advocacy series, Power to the People, with our first event on July 20th. The first event of this series, Power to People: Abortion Rights and Digital Privacy, will elevate the voices of abortion advocates and the risks emerging with digital rights and privacy. This event will empower you to take additional action regarding abortion rights and data privacy. Stay tuned for more information about this upcoming event. 

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