Spotlight on Annette Bieniusa: Lecturer and Senior Researcher in Programming Languages

Meet Annette Bieniusa, our next featured young researcher in a series about some of the women attending this year’s Heidelberg Laureate Forum in September 2016.

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Credit: Photo courtesy of Annette Bieniusa

Annette works as a lecturer and senior researcher in her hometown of Kaiserslautern, Germany. Her field of research is programming languages, and parallel and distributed programming. Her thesis topic was consistency, isolation, and irrevocability in software transactional memory, and she currently works on highly available transactional data stores.

A really neat accomplishment of Annette’s is leading the development of the Antitdote platform, “a storage back end for extreme scale cloud services and applications, in the EU Project Syncfree.” Strong leadership and coordination was required to manage and motivate PhD students and researchers located all over Europe for the project.

In many of our spotlights, there has been a theme in the challenges faced by our young researchers. Many have talked about needing the ability to fail and change directions if needed. Annette discusses another type of challenge that faces many in the field.

I am balancing family life with two adorable kids, aged 4 months and 3 years, and research life with teaching responsibilities, student supervision, paper deadlines and project work. It is stressful at times and requires often early mornings and late evenings to get things done. My husband, my parents and my colleagues are very supportive, otherwise it wouldn’t work out. We travelled already to several project meetings and conferences together with the kids, and I hope they will also visit us here in Heidelberg! (Kaiserslautern is only 1h away by train.)

As someone who had her first child during the PhD years, I can attest to the importance of a support network. Having understanding colleagues is key, so I encourage anyone who works with a researcher with a young family to offer that understanding and support. It is worth it for everyone involved!

Annette is excited about the Forum for the opportunity to meet both laureates and researchers. Also very exciting is that she gets to plan and run a workshop at the Forum with two laureates, Barbara Liskov and Tony Hoare!

Have a great time this week in Heidelberg Annette, and good luck with the workshop!

Stay tuned for a special post about mentors, and the advice our featured women want to share with others.

Gail is Manager of External Education Programs at Shopify where her team works to make learning computer science better for everyone. Previously, she taught computer science at Carleton University. Gail was a co-founder of Carleton's Women in Science and Engineering group (CU-WISE), and has lead many computer science outreach events. You can follow Gail on Twitter (@gailcarmichael) and her personal blog (The Female Perspective of Computer Science).

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