Current Academic Members

Jean Bacon - Professor of Distributed Systems

Jean Bacon

Jean Bacon was the first woman to be appointed, in 1985, as a lecturer in the Computer Laboratory and, rumour has it, the first who applied. After partially retiring in 2010 she is a Director of Research, continues to lead the Opera research group and to be involved in international conferences, especially DEBS (Distributed Event-Based Systems) and Middleware. She is a fellow of the IEEE and BCS, and an emeritus fellow of Jesus College. She was founding Editor in Chief of IEEE Distributed Systems Online, 2000-2007; this was the IEEE Computer Society's first online-only magazine and became the more broadly based Computing Now in 2008. She was elected a member of the Governing Body of the IEEE-CS, 2002-2007. She was on the editorial board of IEEE Computer from 2008 and moved to its advisory panel in 2012.
Jean's profile

Ann Copestake - Professor

Ann Copestake

I'm a Professor in the Computer Laboratory. I'm one of the two Deputy Heads of Department - I have reponsibility for Teaching. My research is in computational linguistics: I work on formalising and implementing various aspects of human languages. People often think of computational linguistics as a `soft' subject, but this is far from true - developing systems that can process real language at reasonable speed means thinking hard aboutalgorithm design and coding. Programming is a means to an end, but it's also something I enjoy. At its best, it's a form of puzzle-solving which leads to practically useful results. What really attracts me to computational linguistics is its breadth. I've collaborated with people with backgrounds in several different disciplines including linguistics, mathematics, philosophy and psychology.
Ann's profile

Past Student Members


Naruemon Pratanwanich - PhD Student

Naruemon Pratanwanich

Naruemon is a PhD student in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Group of the Computer LaboratoryUniversity of Cambridge, under the supervision of Dr. Pietro Lio', and a member of Darwin College. She was granted the Royal Thai Government for her PhD studies. In 2009, she received her first degree of BEng in Computer Engineering from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, with the thesis entitled “Thai Text-to-Speech of English Graphemes”. The objective was to serve as a plug-in for text to speech program, a computer-aided application for the blind. This is her starting point to change her research direction to serve the purpose of health science. She decided to enroll the MSc of Biomedical Engineering at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Graduated in 2011, she conducted the thesis under the title of “Association between LINE-1 Characteristics and Gene Expression in Cancers Using Data Mining Techniques”. Currently, her research interests have focused on machine learning techniques, including Bayesian approaches and latent models, to analyse multiple kinds of –omics data e.g. gene expression data, protein-protein interaction, and biological pathways, with the aim of personalised medicine and drug repositioning where new indications are proposed for the existing drugs. (http://cl.cam.ac.uk/~np394).

Zhen Bai - PhD Student

I’m a research student in the Graphics & Interaction Group. I am interested in exploring how Augmented Reality technologies can facilitate the development of symbolic thinking and social interaction of young children with and without special needs. I became a member of women@CL in my second year in the Computer Laboratory and have been enjoying organizing and participating in various events ever since. I find those events to be very helpful for female students at different stages of their study in both academic and social aspects.

Chloë Brown - PhD Student

Chloe Brown

I was an undergraduate at the Computer Laboratory studying the Computer Science Tripos from 2008-2011, and now I am a PhD student in the NetOS group. As an undergraduate I found the women@CL Big Sister Little Sister events to be a brilliant antidote to the uncertainty it might be easy to feel as a girl starting university on a very male-dominated course, and I really hope that other 'little sisters' continue to find the same.
Chloe's profile

Vaiva Imbrasaitė - PhD Student

Vaiva Imbrasaite

I am a third year PhD student in the Rainbow group working on automatic emotion recognition in music. I have also done my undergraduate degree here, in Cambridge so it is my 6th year in the Computer Lab. That is also how long I have been involved with or attending women@CL events - it is a great way to meet like-minded women!

Past Members.

Ursula Martin – Founder of women@CL
Oxford University, Department of Computer Science

Ursula Martin

Ursula Martin joined the University of Oxford as Professor of Computer Science in 2014. She holds an EPSRC Established Career Fellowship. Prior to this she held a chair of Computer Science in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London.

Ursula's profile

Charlotte Froese Fischer - Emerita Research Professor at Vanderbilt University

Charlotte Froese Fischer

Charlotte Froese Fischer is a Canadian-American applied mathematician and computer scientist who gained world recognition for the development and implementation of the Multi-configurational Hartree-Fock (MCHF) approach to atomic structure calculations, and for her theoretical prediction concerning the existence of the negative calcium ion.
Charlotte obtained her Ph.D. in applied mathematics and computing at Cambridge University in 1957 pursuing coursework in quantum theory with P.A.M. Dirac and working under the supervision of Douglas Hartree, whom she assisted in programming the Electronic Digital Stored program Automatic Computer (EDSAC) for atomic structure calculations. During 1963 - 64 at the Harvard College Observatory, she was the first woman scientist to be awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship. Since then she has become internationally known for her software for atomic structure calculations and her research in atomic structure theory. In 1991 she became a Fellow of the American Physical Society, in part for her contribution to the discovery of negative calcium, and in 1995 she was elected a member of the Royal Physiographical Society of Lund. She is the author of over 260 research articles on computational atomic theory, many of which became citation classics for their far-reaching impact in the area of atomic structure calculations. She is currently an emerita research professor of computer science at Vanderbilt University and a guest scientist of the Atomic Spectroscopy Laboratory at NIST.

Shazia Afzal

Shazia AfzalShazia's profile

Rana El Kaliouby – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Media Laboratory

Rana El Kaliouby Rana's profile

Laurel Riek

Laurel Riek

Assel Zhiyenbayeva - Undergraduate Student

Assel Zhiyenbayeva

I am a third-year Computer Science student at Fitzwilliam College, originally from Kazakhstan. I have been involved with women@CL from last year and have had a great experience, every event has a friendly atmosphere and I’ve really enjoyed every moment.

Cecily Morrison - Research Associate, Department of Engineering

Cecily Morrison has always been interested in why people do what they do. She first explored this an anthropolgist before entering the field of Human-Computer Interaction to research how the design of information systems shapes how people communicate. Following a PhD which looked at in what ways Electronic Patient Records changed communication of medical teams in intensive care, she will start a post-doc in the design of healthcare processes in the engineering faculty.

Carole Goble – University of Manchester, School of Computer Science

Carole Goble

Carole's profile

Jane Hillston – University of Edinburgh, School of Informatics

Jane Hillston

Jane's profile

Laura James – University of Cambridge, Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies (CARET) and AlertMe.com

Laura James

Laura's profile

Marta Kwiatkowska – Oxford University, Computing Laboratory

Marta Kwiatkowska

Marta's profile

Mounia Lalmas – Visiting Principal Scientist, Yahoo! Research Barcelona, Spain

Mounia Lalmas

Mounia's profile

Hanna Wallach – University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Computer Science

Hanna Wallach

Hanna's profile

Karen Spärck Jones (26 August 1935 – 4 April 2007)

Karen Sparck Jones

Professor Karen Spärck Jones was one of the pioneers in information retrieval (IR) and natural language processing (NLP). She worked in these areas since the late 1950s and made major contributions to the understanding of information systems. Her international status as a researcher was recognised by the most prestigious awards in her field, notably, the Association for Computational Linguistics Lifetime Achievement Award, the BCS Lovelace Medal, and the ACM-AAAI Allen Newell Award, as well as by her election as a Fellow of the British Academy, of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, and as a European AI Fellow. In the Computer Laboratory, Karen was involved in teaching on the MPhil in Computer Speech and Language Processing for many years and also taught information retrieval for the Computer Science Tripos. She had many PhD students, working in remarkably diverse areas of NLP and IR.

Karen Spärck Jones thought it very important to get more women into computing. Her famous slogan was: "Computing is too important to be left to men". Her position  as a senior woman in computing was an inspiring role model to young researchers.


Beatrice Worsley (1922 – 1972)

Beatrice Worsley

Beatrice Worsley was born in Mexico and raised in Toronto. She studied at the University of Toronto and MIT. She came to Cambridge in 1949 and worked with Professor Maurice Wilkes on the early EDSAC machine which was then nearing completion. The EDSAC was first demonstrated in May of that year and an account of the first demonstration including flow diagrams, programs and output – a table of primes from 5 to 1021 (excluding for some unknown reason 2 and 3!) and a table of squares and first differences of the integers from 1 to 32. When the Ferut computer was installed, she was one of the persons who wrote Transcode, a programming system which allowed programmers to write programs in a simplified language that was then compiled into Ferut's quite arcane machine language. She continued her studies at Cambridge and received a Ph.D. in 1952. She was possibly the first woman to obtain a doctorate in the field of computers. She continued at the University of Toronto for some years before moving to Queens University.