Dr. Barbara G. Ryder

Dr. Barbara G. Ryder

J. Byron Maupin Professor Emerita
of Engineering

Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering
Virginia Tech

Email: ryder 'at' cs.vt.edu ryder "at" acm.org

Short Biography

Dr. Barbara G. Ryder is a emerita faculty member in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech, where she held the J. Byron Maupin Professorship in Engineering. She received her A.B. degree in Applied Mathematics from Brown University (1969), her Masters degree in Computer Science from Stanford University (1971) and her Ph.D degree in Computer Science at Rutgers University (1982). From 2008-2015 she served as Head of the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech, and retired on September 1, 2016. Dr. Ryder served on the faculty of Rutgers from 1982-2008. She also worked in the 1970s at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ. Dr. Ryder's research interests on static and dynamic program analyses for object-oriented systems, focus on usage in practical software tools for ensuring the quality and security of industrial-strength applications.

Dr. Ryder became a Fellow of the ACM in 1998, received the IEEE Computer Society TCSE Distinguished Women in Science and Engineering Award (2018), received the ACM SIGSOFT Influential Educator Award (2015) and the ACM President's Award (2008), was selected as a CRA-W Distinguished Professor (2004), and received the ACM SIGPLAN Distinguished Service Award (2001). She has been an active leader in ACM (e.g., Vice President 2010-2012, Secretary-Treasurer 2008-2010; ACM Council 2000-2008; General Chair, FCRC 2003; Chair ACM SIGPLAN (1995-97)). She serves as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Computer Research Association (2014-present,1998-2001). Dr. Ryder has served as an editorial board member of ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology, ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Software: Practice and Experience, and Science of Computer Programming.

Dr. Ryder received the Virginia AAUW Woman of Achievement Award in 2014. She led the Department of Computer Science team which tied nationally for 2nd place in the 2016 NCWIT NEXT Awards. She is a founding member of the NCWIT VA/DC Aspirations in Computing Awards, having co-chaired these awards in 2012-13 and 2014-15 and having served on the organizing committee since 2011. She also was an executive champion for CS@VT in the NCWIT Pacesetters (2009-2015).

CV (as of 3/23/2020)
Google Scholar Page


In rememberance of those slain

We Remember



My research group has been informally referred to as PROLANGS@VT the PROgramming LANGuageS research group. A full listing of publications from the group (and its predecessor at Rutgers University) is available here in reverse chronological order.

Current Grants

NSF Student Travel Grant for 2017 Programming Languages Mentoring Workshop (PLMW@SPLASH) at the ACM SIGPLAN SPLASH Conference, PI: Dr. Barbara G. Ryder.


Here is my keynote talk on Blended Analysis for JavaScript at APSEC 2012.

I was an invited instructor at ACACES 2007: Third International Summer School on Advanced Computer Architecture and Compilation for Embedded Systems, in L'Aquila, Italy, in July 2007. I taught a course in program analyses for object-oriented languages. My five lectures are available 2-up in PDF format here:

  • Lecture 1
  • Lecture 2
  • Lecture 3
  • Lecture 4
  • Lecture 5
  • References
  • During September 2006, I delivered a lecture at the International School on Software Engineering at the University of Salerno, entitled "Practical Program Anlaysis for Object-oriented Software Tools", available in PDF format in two parts (1) and (2).

    In April 2003, I was a keynote speaker at the International Conference on Compiler Construction, Warsaw, Poland. My talk there on Dimensions of Precision in Reference Analysis of Object-oriented Languages is available in PDF with the animations as a 4.5Mb file or without the animations printed 2-up as a .5Mb file.



    External: --Served on the HOPL-IV program committee, actively shepherding and reviewing papers; the conference will now occur in conjunction with PLDI 2021.
    ---Organizer of the 2020 CRA Mentoring Workshop in February.
    ---In June 2020, finished 6 years on the CRA Board of Directors, and became an emerita member of the CRA-Education Committee. In 2019, I co-organized a CRA-E Teaching Professors Workshop at SIGCSE 2019 and I will help with the 2021 virtual workshop of the same name.
    ---In 2018, I was on the organizing committee of the Programming Languages Mentoring Workshop (PLMW@SPLASH) at SPLASH 2018 in Boston.

    Department: I continue to serve on the CS@VT Alumni Advisory Board and as Chair of its Alumni Awards Committee (until June 2020). A description of our alumni awards and several previous awardees can be found here. You can find the nomination form here. I also have been actively fund-raising for the CS@VT's diversity endowment fund, which at the end of 2020 attained a balance of more than $160,000 dollars.

    Community: My main volunteer focus is (i) at the All Faiths Food Bank, although our monthly food pantry is closed now, due to COVID-19 and (ii) the League of Women Voters of Florida and LWV of Sarasota County. In LWVSRQ I had responsibility for the website in 2018 as a Board member, and participated in various voter registration events. In LWVFL, I update 2 advocacy webpages (Reproductive Health & Justice, Election Reform & Voting Rights Restoration). In 2020, I became a key volunteer in the LWVFL effort to help ex-felons in Florida register to vote, as an assistant to LWVFL 1st VP Cecile Scoon, Esq.. In this position, I administer a program to match pro bono attorneys with ex-felons needing assistance to obtain their voting rights, and keep track of LWVFL online lawyer trainings on voting rights restoration.

    I am honored to be serving on the History of Programming Languages IV (HOPL-IV) program committee, having served on the HOPL-II PC and as co-program/general chair of HOPL-III (2007). I am co-chairing the Programming Languages Mentoring Workshop (PLMW@SPLASH) at SPLASH 2017 in Vancouver, with Lori Pollock. I was re-elected to the Computing Research Association (CRA) Board for a term from 2017-2020. As a member of the CRA-Education Committee, I am chairing the Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Awards for 2017 and 2018. I currently serve on an ad hoc CRA Board committee concerned with addressing the problems experienced by underrepresented minorities in computing. I continue to serve as an Associate Editor of ACM TOSEM.

    I am an ex-officio member of CS@VT Alumni Advisory Board, as it is being reconstituted by Department Head Dr. Cal Ribbens and have agreed to serve as Chair of the Awards Committee of this Board. I also am participating in Meet CS Alumni visits (with Dr. Ribbens) around the country. I continue to mentor junior CS faculty and served on the CS@VT NSF CAREER Award mentoring committee.

    Community: In Sarasota, Florida, my new home, I volunteer regularly at the All Faiths Food Bank I am active member of the Sarasota League of Women Voters.

    I am a member of the CRA Board of Directors, the CRA Education Committee, and the organizing committee for Snowbird 2016. I served on the committee to select the CRA-E Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award, which I will chair for the 2017 competition. I also helped develop a workshop on undergraduate research mentoring given at ICSE 2016. At Snowbird, I am chairing/organizing the Data Sciences in the 21st Century panel session and helping to organize the New Department Heads Workshop. I served on the selection committee for the new EIC of ACM TOPLAS and was a member of the Technical Briefings Program Committee for ICSE 2016. I chaired the CS@VT Diversity Committee (AY 2015-16)

    I became an emerita professor in September 2016. As such, I continue to work on diversity activities (e.g., Tapia Celebration), mentor younger CS faculty members, and actively participate/help organize activities with CS@VT alumni.

    I continue on the CCICADA Advisory Board and the CRA Board of Directors. I am a member of the CRA-E committee, working on mentoring young faculty/graduate students as to how to do reserach with undergraduates and on developing a CRA faculty research mentoring award to recognize outstanding academic mentors of undergraduate researchers. I am serving on the ACM SIGSOFT selections committee for the 2016 Influential Educator Award. I also continue in my 5th year as a member of the organizing committee of the NCWIT VA/DC Aspirations in Computing Awards. I am Chair of the CS@VT Diversity Committee and a member of the College of Engineering Mentoring Committee. I also serve as a mentor to several of junior faculty in my department.


    I was elected to the Board of Directors of the Computing Research Assocation (CRA) in July 2014. I served as a member of the Advisory Board of the DIMACS Homeland Security Center of Excellence CCICADA: Command, Control, and Interoperatiiby Center for Advanced Data Analysis at Rutgers University. I continue to serve as a member of the ACM SIGSOFT ISSTA Steering Committee. I am a member of the NSF-funded ACM SIGSOFT IMPACT project that explores the impact of Software Engineering research on programming practice. As part of this project, I co-authored a paperr with Mary Lou Soffa and Margaret Burnett, published in ACM TOSEM in October 2005, The Impact of Software Engineering on Modern Programming Languages. I continue in activities with NCWIT Pacesetters, VA/DC Aspirations in Computing awards and with the NCWIT NSF Engage project. I continued to serve on the High Performance Computing Infrastructure Committee and on the Hume Center Stakeholders committee I continue as a member of the ADVANCE-VT Faculty Advisory Committee and a member of the ADVANCE Portal Website Advisory Committee.

    I served as co-chair of the 2013 NCWIT VA/DC Regional Aspirations in Computing awards. I continue to serve as a member of the ACM SIGSOFT ISSTA Steering Committee. I was a member of the search committee for a new department head for Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech. I continue to chair the Virginia Tech College of Engineering High Performance Computing Committee, and to serve on the High Performance Computing Infrastructure Committee and on the Hume Center Stakeholders committee. I also co-chaired the University Committee on Computational and Quantitative Thinking.

    I was a founding organizer of the NCWIT VA/DC Regional Aspirations in Computing awards. I continued in my actvities in the NCWIT Pacesetters program and on the two advisory boards mentioned in 2011 below. I also was a member of the search committee for a new department head for Aerospace and Oceanographic Engineering at Virginia Tech (2011-2012). I continue to chair the Virginia Tech College of Engineering High Performance Computing Committee, and to serve on the High Performance Computing Infrastructure Committee and on the Hume Center Stakeholders committee.

    I was a member of the PLDI 2012 Program Committee and continued serving on the ISSTA Steering Committee. I was Executive Champion on the three person team at CS@VT in the NCWIT Pacesetters program and served on the Advisory Boards for the CRA-W/CDC Project on Measuring Outcomes for Students in Computing (the Data Buddy project) and the NSF-funded Discovery Research K-12 project The Value of Computational Thinking Across Grade Levels led by DIMACS at Rutgers University.

    I was elected Vice President of ACM from July 2010-June 2012, which means that I served on the ACM Executive Committee and ACM Council. I also chaired the ACM EC's Membership Task Force on Researchers/Academics in North America.

    I was a member of the organizing committee for the CRA Snowbird Workshop for New Department Chairs, July 2010. I served as a guiest co-editor of the ISSTA 2008 special issue of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering published in 2010.

    I served as ACM Secretary-Treasurer from 2008-2010, and served on the ACM Membership Task Force in 2009. I served as ACM SIGSOFT ISSTA Steering Committee Chair from July 2008-July 2009.

    I served as the General Chair of the ISSTA 2008, International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis (ISSTA) in July 2008 in Seattle. I organized the State of the Art in Software Testing and Analysis Workshop at Rutgers on March 28, 2008. I talked about teaching and mentoring graduate students at the New Software Engineering Faculty Symposium (NSEFS) at ICSE 2008. I was a panelist at the Fifth CRA-W Graduate Cohort Workshop in Seattle, WA in March 2008. I talked about How to get started in research? I was a member of the FSE 2008 Doctoral Symposium Committee.


    I taught the graduate programming languages course CS 5314 Concepts of Programming Languages in Spring 2016. In Fall 2015 I taught a graduate seminar on program analysis, CS 6304 Program Analysis and Applications. While I served as department head of CS@VT (2008-2015), I taught the graduate weekly research seminar in 2009-2010. The courses listed below were taught at Rutgers.

    During each of the academic years 2005-2008 at Rutgers, I led the Rutgers Emerging Scholars in Computer Science, a peer-led team-learning program in CS funded by the NSF. I was part of a consortium of eight universities on this grant. This program recruited incoming Rutgers students to take CS111 (CS1) supplemented by a 2 hour a week peer-led, group learning session, designed to enhance the learning of concepts and skills. This program aimed to attract new students from currently underrepresented groups in Computer Science and to build a learning community with them. We hoped to retain these students as Computer Science majors/minors and to acquaint them with possible careers in this field. If you are interested in obtaining the exercises we used at Rutgers for this program, please email me here at Virginia Tech.

    Here is my talk at the Software Engineering Education Symposium on on the Benefits of Peer Led Team Learning in CS.

    Courses Taught:



    Address: 114 McBryde (0106)
    Blacksburg, VA 24061
    Office: 1107 Knowledgeworks II
    Phone: 540-231-8452
    Fax: 540-231-4240
    Email: ryder 'at' cs.vt.edu ryder "at" acm.org