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World-renowned computer scientist honoured on Ada Lovelace Day

Published: 
11 October 2016
Illustration
Professor Dame Wendy Hall

World-renowned computer scientist Professor Dame Wendy Hall, from Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton, has received a prestigious award that honours women in maths and computing.

Professor Hall is one of 12 women to receive a Suffrage Science Award today (11 October) to celebrate their scientific achievements and ability to inspire others, at a special event at Bletchley Park.

The event coincides with Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Executive Director of the University’s Web Science Institute, said: “I’m deeply honoured to receive this award amongst other extraordinary women in maths and computing. However, I remain frustrated by the need for such schemes as Suffrage Science to exist. It will only change if it becomes everyone’s issue and not just a women’s issue. We need to get the language right, which is we’re top scientists, not top women scientists.”

The Suffrage Science scheme was formed five years ago by the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre at Imperial College London. The award is a new development of the scheme, which aims to encourage women into science and to reach senior leadership roles.

There are currently two sections of Suffrage Science, one for women in the Life Sciences, and one for those in Engineering and the Physical Sciences. Today's event launches a specialism for women in Maths and Computing.

The awards themselves are science-inspired pieces of jewellery, designed by students at the arts college Central Saint Martins-UAL. After two years, the winners hand on their jewellery to a recipient of their choice – this scientific ‘relay’ creates an ever-expanding cohort of talented women within the Maths and Computing field.


Read interviews with Dame Wendy and other awardees and see pictures of the jewellery competition and design in the Suffrage Science Maths and Computing brochure.

Women make up no more than four in ten undergraduates studying maths (London Mathematical Society), and fewer than two in ten of those studying computer science (WISE report, 2014).

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