Women in Technology Hall of Fame

Dr. Irene Greif

Dr. Irene Greif

IBM Felow, Director of Collaborative User Experience Group, IBM Research

Inducted in 2000

Irene Greif is an American computer scientist and a founder of the field of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). She created a world-class research organization—originally in Lotus Development Corporation—and successfully transferred it into IBM's research division, expanding its scope and impact across IBM.

As the founder of the field of CSCW, Irene is an expert on how people work with computers and how people can work with each other using computers. She had an impact on technology throughout the world in work sharing, remote work, knowledge management, and distance learning. CSCW is the underlying science groupware like Lotus Notes, the industry’s leading email and collaboration software product.

Irene’s contributions at Lotus include early-patented work on Version Manager, a feature that launched the group-enabling of all Lotus products. She played a key role in setting the strategies for Domino—a Lotus web-based collaborative technology—and Sametime, Lotus' real-time communications offering.

Her innovations include Reinvent Email, business activities, and social bookmarking.

Irene is a strong advocate of strategic design, delivering vision pieces of innovation in user-interface and interactive visualization. Irene brought legitimacy to the collaborative side of computer science, influencing the work of thousands of researchers in the past 15 years in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Some of her supporters believe Irene’s work brought a feminine perspective to the world of technology, integrating social concerns with technical ones. CSCW has not only changed the way we think about using technology in the workplace; it brought a more user-friendly perspective to computing.

Irene served on the faculties of the computer science department at the University of Washington and the electrical engineering and computer science departments at MIT.

Irene is married, is the mother of two adult children and two stepchildren.

She received the Leadership Award from Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology and has board positions, memberships, and fellowships with the following organizations: IBM; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the Association for Computing Machinery; and the National Academy of Engineering.

Irene has been published many times over. Her titles include: "Computer-Supported Cooperative Work: a Book of Readings" (1988); "Software for the "Roles" People Play" (1983); "Cooperative Office Work, Teleconferencing and Calendar Management: a Collection of Papers" (1982); "Programs for Distributed Computing: the Calendar Application" (1980); and "Semantics of Communicating Parallel Processes" (1975).