Barbara Liskov

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

Barbara LiskovName: Barbara Liskov

Born: November 7, 1939 in California

Computer related contributions

  • Computer scientist. One of the first women in the United States to be awarded a Ph.D. from a computer science department (Stanford, 19698). The topic of her Ph.D. thesis was a computer program to play chess end games.
  • Liskov has led many significant projects, including the Venus operating system, a small, low-cost, and interactive timesharing system; the design and implementation of CLU; Argus, the first high-level language to support implementation of distributed programs and to demonstrate the technique of promise pipelining; and Thor, an object-oriented database system.
  • With Jeannette Wing, she developed a particular definition of subtyping, commonly known as the Liskov substitution principle.
  • Leads the Programming Methodology Group at MIT, with a current research focus in Byzantine fault tolerance and distributed computing.


  • Program Development in Java: Abstraction, Specification, and Object-Oriented Design
  • Abstraction and Specification in Program Development (MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)
  • The Dawn of Software Engineering: from Turing to Dijkstra
  • Author of over a hundred technical papers

Honors and awards

  • IEEE John von Neumann Medal
  • A. M. Turing Award