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This page was published on 16/10/2006
Published: 16/10/2006

   Science in society

Published: 16 October 2006  
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European researcher honoured with 'women in science' award

European researcher Dr Wendy Hall was recently awarded with an international prize highlighting achievements by women in IT. The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI) bestowed the honour on Dr Hall, vice president of The Association for Computing Machinery, for her work to raise women's profile in computing. Dr Hall received the Award for Technology Leadership at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.

Dr Hall is currently a professor at the University of Southampton. © computix
Dr Hall is currently a professor at the University of Southampton.
© computix
The award, established in 2004 in memory of Dr Anita Borg, honours leaders who advance Dr Borg's vision to change the world for women and technology. Dr Hall is the first UK recipient. She has long been an advocate for women in computer science and claims there is still a long way to go before women are fully integrated in to the discipline.

"We need to excite young people today, particularly girls, by inspiring them with visions of the wonderful careers they could have in the computing and IT industries when they graduate from university in 10 or 12 years from now," she says. "If I can make a difference by encouraging more women to realize this then I will feel I have achieved something really important."

Dr. Hall is well known in IT circles for her research and has held numerous top positions in the field. She is a professor of Computer Science and Head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton, as well as founding head of the Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia Research Group at ECS. She serves on a number of British and European science and research councils and serves as a director of several companies and charitable trusts.

Earlier this year she was named one of six international Women of Outstanding Achievement by the UK Research Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology.

Throughout her career she has been involved in important development concerning the Web. She led the research team that developed the pre-Web Microcosm hypermedia system and, at the moment, has teamed up with the inventor of the Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, to develop research initiatives in Web Science.

ABI has recently taken measures to expand their initiatives on a global scale. To expand the impact of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference in the spirit of the Anita Borg Awards, they have established the Change Agent Scholarship to encourage the participation of women who live and work outside the United States.

Google, the search engine giant, has picked up on the idea of furthering women's issues in science by creating the Google Europe Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship 2007. Through the scholarship, they aim to encourage women to excel in computing and technology, and become active role models and leaders in various scientific disciplines.

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See also

EU forum on Women in ICT
The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI)
School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton

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