Emerging Leader in Honor of Denice Denton

Rachel Pottinger

2007 Winner of the Denice Denton Emerging Leader ABIE Award

Third year Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at University of British Columbia, Rachel Pottinger is widely recognized for her research as a computer scientist and her work supporting and mentoring women in CS. Her success is due in part to efficient use of technology including educational support software, email lists, and wikis. Rachel received her B.Sc degree in CS from Duke University and her M.Sc and Ph.D from U. Washington. She has been the recipient of NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, a Microsoft Graduate Research Fellowship, and a Lucent Technologies Graduate Research Program for Women Grant.

Rachel tackles a wide range of technically challenging problems while simultaneously serving her students to create a better learning environment.  In her research and work, Rachel addresses managing data that must be shared by disaster response organizations. To be effective, such organizations require timely, shared access to large amounts of distributed data. Rachel’s earlier work on meta-models is applied here to help determine metrics and procedures that allow users to create the smallest number of mappings between data sources while maximizing the flow of information, thus saving time during an emergency.

Rachel served important roles at U. Washington. In 2000-2001, she was the Graduate Student Coordinator (GSC), the elected head of the graduate students in CSE. Any problems or concerns that a student had but could not directly approach the faculty with could be taken to the GSC to help resolve. Similarly, any problem that the faculty has requiring graduate student input tends came through the GSC. Rachel excelled at her role as GSC being able to identify problems early and connecting the right people and resources to find effective solutions for both faculty and students.

Rachel participated in career mentoring workshops as well as set up mailing lists for graduating Ph.D women in CS to help build community, as well as a list for pretenure women in CS. Rachel’s other formal role was as a member of the CSE Chair Search committee. Rachel uniquely combines her deep knowledge of computer science with a commitment to solving data-management problems of value to society and to helping younger scientists develop their potential.