I think people who work at the intersection of computer science and other disciplines do some of the most interesting work there is. In particular, I think there are women doing amazing work at the intersection of the social sciences (like linguistics and sociology) and computer science.
Jane Margolis is my hero because she has looked critically at the culture of computer science and not only found ways in which it is unwelcoming to some groups (notably girls and minorities) but has also worked passionately to change it. In particular, her work with the Computer Science Equity Alliance is inspirational. Jane is energetic and thoughtful and perceptive, and she constantly works to make the world of computer science better.
Jane introduced me to another of my heroes, Justine Cassell. I first learned of her because of the book From Barbie to Mortal Kombat. I had the opportunity to talk to her briefly at the Hopper conference this fall and was so impressed by her analytical mind and energetic presentation. Justine has also done a lot of interesting work on gender and technology.
Finally, the researchers of ABI and NCWIT earn my respect every time I talk to them. Catherine Ashcraft had the most interesting observations about gendered behavior and how it is different from sex, which convinced me she's brilliant. Lecia Barker and Caroline Simard produce consistently fascinating research.
This post was produced for my Ada Lovelace pledge. Two other posts on this subject I found inspiring today were "Why Care about Gender?" and "The Impact of Positive Female Role Models"