Lenore Blum (b. 1942)
Lenore Blum is featured for her contributions to research mathematics; mathematics in business, industry, and government;to establishing, cultivating, and sustaining mathematical communities; and to increasing the participation of women and underrepresented groups.
Lenore Blum, born in 1942 in New York, graduated with a BS from Simmons College in 1963 and earned a PhD in Mathematics from MIT in 1968. She was then a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at Berkeley, working with Julia Robinson, before joining the Faculty at Mills College in 1973.
In 1971 Blum became one of the founders of the Association for Women in Mathematics, of which she was also the president from 1975 to 1978. At Mills College, Blum founded the Mathematics and Computer Science Department, which was the first Computer Science program at a women’s college. For this, she was named the first Letts-Villard Chair in 1979. Blum worked at IBM for a year during her time at Mills. She became the Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in 1999. There, she founded the Women@SCS program to provide mentoring for women in computer science, Project Olympus, a successful business incubator, and co-founded the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). The Women@SCS program was so effective that CMU computer science majors are nearly half women. In 2018, Lenore Blum resigned from CMU after unsuccessfully fighting systemic sexism caused by changes in the management structure of the CIE.
Blum works in complexity theory and computation. She is well known for the Blum-Blum-Shub pseudorandom number generator and the Blum-Shub-Smale machine, a model of computation over the reals with analogues of NP-completeness, undecidability and universality.
Blum received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring in 2005. She has been named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1979), the American Mathematical Society (2012), and the Association for Women in Mathematics (2018).
Blum, L. Computing over the Reals: Where Turing Meets Newton, October 2004 Notices of the AMS.
Blum, L. A brief history of the Association for Women in Mathematics: the Presidents’ perspectives, September 1991 Notices of the AMS.
Blum, L.; Blum, M; Shub, M. A simple unpredictable pseudorandom number generator, SIAM Journal on Computing, 15 (2): 364–383, 1986.
Blum, Lenore. A new simple homotopy algorithm for linear programming. I, Journal of Complexity, 4 (2), 1988.
Blum, Lenore; Shub, M.; Smale, S. On a theory of computation and complexity over the real numbers: NP-completeness, recursive functions and universal machines, Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, New Series, 21 (1), 1989.
Blum, Lenore; Cucker, Felipe; Shub, M.; Smale, S. Complexity and Real Computation, New York: Springer-Verlag, 1998.