Joefon JannBy the time she was a teenager, Joefon Jann was at the top of her class in mathematics and dreamed of someday working for the best computer company in the world. Receiving a scholarship to Wellesley College, she graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics with a minor in physics from the MIT-Wellesley cross recognition program. From there, she went on to earn a Master of Arts in mathematics from the City University of New York in 1972 and a Master of Science in computer science from Columbia University in 1977. Embarking on her career, Ms. Jann spent a number of years teaching mathematics and working as technical staff before achieving her dream and joining IBM as an APL and systems programmer in 1989.

Today, Ms. Jann is an accomplished computer scientist and distinguished engineer with the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. Her work involves developing and deploying computer systems with the goal of bettering the world and improving quality of life for individuals. Throughout the years her work as been used in artificial intelligence; research into cancers, genes, drugs and disease; banking; and weather forecasting, along with countless other applications. Most notably, she spent almost three years as the only systems person operating the Deep Blue Computer, the chess system that famously beat a human, Garry Kasparov, in 1997. Following this success, the system was renamed Deep Thunder and used for weather forecasting. Since then, Ms. Jann has gained significant expertise in working with the SP/Power systems that eventually evolved into the ASCI supercomputers we have today.

Ms. Jann’s accomplishments include more than 40 patents in the field, including such inventions as the autonomic health adviser file system and enabling increased security and systems management. An accomplished author as well, she has published numerous articles in professional journals, both within IBM and externally, and she notably authored the forward for “AIX Performance.” She has been cited in more than 1,250 scholarly publications as a result of her exemplary research. One of her most prominent projects is “The Jann Model of Massively Parallel Workloads.” Having achieved much over the course of her career, Ms. Jann attributes her success to her passion, wisdom, perseverance, and her goal to make the world a better, more peaceful and pleasant place than the one she was born into.

Over the course of her career, Ms. Jann has been greatly inspired by the work of the many other inventors, scientists and engineers who have contributed to the goal of making the world safer, cleaner and healthier. She also feels greatly indebted to the kindness and support of the teachers she has had throughout her education, from the nuns at her Catholic high school to her professors at Wellesley College, which she considers to be the best women’s college in the world. Her work ethic can be described with the motto of Thomas Edison, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Ms. Jann would advise young and aspiring professionals to follow their passion, work hard with wisdom and integrity, and to be considerate of others and the world. In support of her fellow professionals, she co-founded an internal group at IBM to help East and Southeast Asian women advance in the field.

For her excellence, Ms. Jann has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades. She has received four Best Paper Awards over the years, one for “Lazy Home Migration for Distributed Shared Memory Systems”; another from the Elsevier journal, Parallel Computing, for “Towards an Immortal Operating System in Virtual Environments”; and two for conference papers. She has also received three IBM Corporate Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards and five Research Division Awards, alongside numerous others. Furthermore, she is an esteemed Marquis listee and has previously been presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, named a Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientist and featured in the Marquis Who’s Who Millennium Magazine. Above everything, Ms. Jann considers the highlight of her career to be her recognition as a Distinguished Engineer at the IBM Watson Research Center.

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