Yesterday I attended a lecture by Fran Allen, as part of the "David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo, Distinguished Lecture Series". Allen worked a IBM Research from 1957 to 2002, she was awarded the ACM's Turing Award in 2006. Here is her biography from Wikipedia (let's hope it is accurate).
Aside from some technical issues (why can't a room full of computer science professors and students successfully attach a laptop to a projector?) the talk was quite interesting. There were two main sections, the first discussed Allen's career at IBM and the second was about the future of computer science. Allen's work at IBM focused mostly on compilers and high performance computing. She made a few interesting comments about the importance of high performance computing. For example, one of the systems she worked on was designed and used to model the detonations of nuclear weapons. The development of this system ended the need for the United Stated to perform actual test detonations.