The University of Southampton

Head of School appointed to top Government committee

Published: 19 April 2004

Currently President of the British Computer Society, one of the world"s leading professional IT bodies, Professor Hall has also recently been appointed to the Council for Science and Technology, the Government's top-level advisory body on science, engineering and technology policy. High on her agenda is the issue of encouraging more women to enter careers in science and IT; she is also keen to address the challenges faced by science education and training. She firmly believes that IT would benefit if a greater number of women were involved in the sector, and is committed to encouraging change. "But there is no easy answer," she says. "We have to tackle the problem at every level because there"s a deeply ingrained culture in the UK that computing is for boys." Only the second woman to hold the office of President in the BCS"s 46-year history, a major part of her presidential year will be devoted to establishing new networks for women and encouraging wider debates about some of the major advances in the world of IT. Professor Hall graduated from the University with a BSc in Mathematics and followed it up three years later with a Southampton PhD. She has been Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton since 1994. She was the founding Head of the Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia (IAM) Research Group in the School of Electronics and Computer Science and her research interests include the development of web technologies, open hypermedia systems and link services, advanced knowledge technologies, digital libraries, multimedia information management, agent-based systems and human computer interaction. Her group developed the open hypermedia system, Microcosm, and she is a director of Active Navigation Ltd, the company through which Microcosm was commercially exploited. The Microcosm software was an ITEA'95 award winner and a BCS IT award winner in 1996. The company now focusses on a commercial version of the dynamic link service for the Web based on IAM's Distributed Link Service project. The commercial product is known as Portal Maximiser. Professor Hall was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in June 2000. She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE). In 2002 she was made a Fellow of the City & Guilds of London Institute and was awarded an Honorary DSc by Oxford Brookes University.

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