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Susan Owicki

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Name  Susan Owicki

Education  Cornell University

Susan Owicki is a computer scientist, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Fellow, and one of the founding members of the Systers mailing list for women in computing. She changed careers in the early 2000s and became a licensed marriage and family therapist.


Academic life

Owicki received her PhD in computer science from Cornell University in 1975. Her advisor was David Gries. At Cornell, she invented Interference Freedom, a method for proving concurrent programs correct.

She was a faculty member at Stanford University for the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Departments for 10 years. Her research interests include distributed systems, performance analysis, and trusted systems for electronic commerce and she published numerous articles and patents on her research.

In 1994 Owicki was recognized as an ACM Fellow for her dissertation work An Axiomatic Proof Technique for Parallel Programs I.

Industry career

After Stanford, Susan Owicki was employed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC).

She later worked at the Strategic Technologies and Architectural Research Laboratory (STAR lab) where she held a role as Associate Director. STAR lab was the first laboratory devoted to research in digital rights management and related electronic commerce technologies.

She spent four years as an independent consultant doing work in the performance of interactive television and delivery of streaming video.

Personal life

Owicki is married to Jack Owicki and has two children.


Owicki's publications include

  • Susan Owicki; David Gries (1976). "An Axiomatic Proof Technique for Parallel Programs I". Acta informatica. (6): 319-340. (Winner of the 1977 ACM Award for best paper in programming languages and systems.)
  • Forest Baskett; James H. Clark; John L. Hennessy; Susan Owicki; Brian Reid. "Research in VLSI Systems Design and Architecture". Stanford University. 1981.
  • Susan S Owicki; Leslie Lamport. "Proving Liveness Properties of Concurrent Programs". ACM TOPLAS. (4:3): 455-495.
  • Amy L. Lansky and Susan S. Owicki, "GEM: A Tool for Concurrency Specification and Verification,", in Proceedings of the Second Annual ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing, ACM, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1983.
  • Thomas E. Anderson; Susan S. Owicki; James B. Saxe; Charles P. Thacker (1993). "High-speed Switch Scheduling for Local-Area Networks". ACM TOCS. (11:4): 319-352.
  • A more complete list of publications is available online.


    Owicki's patents include

  • U.S. Patent 5,446,901 - Fault tolerant distributed garbage collection system and method for collecting network objects
  • U.S. Patent 7,770,016 - Systems and methods for watermarking software and other media
  • Marriage and family therapist

    Owicki is also a licensed marriage and family therapist. She maintains a private practice and is on the staff of the Stanford University faculty and staff help center.


    Susan Owicki Wikipedia