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Birkbeck offers Kathleen Booth Anniversary PhD Scholarship to support representation in Computing

Posted: Sunday, 4 December 2022 12:00

The fully-funded PhD studentship, which recognises the contribution of pioneering computer scientist Dr Kathleen Booth, is made possible with support from Google.

The Department is offering a fully-funded PhD studentship to a woman commencing their studies in 2022-23. The studentship commemorates the legacy of pioneering computer scientist Dr Kathleen Booth (née Britten) in the year of her 100th birthday.

The studentship, worth £75,658 over three years, will be awarded to a woman looking to pursue doctoral research in any of the department’s areas of specialism. Full eligibility requirements and details of how to apply can be found in the application form. The deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday 4 December.

Professor George Roussos, Head of the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, said: "We are delighted to offer the Kathleen Booth Anniversary PhD Studentship in Computer Science with support from Google to celebrate Kathleen’s contributions and achievements as one of the earliest women computer science pioneers. This award reaffirms our commitment to offer career development opportunities for women in a still highly gender-imbalanced discipline."

Dr Kathleen Booth

Dr Kathleen Booth and her husband Dr Andrew D. Booth were co-founders of the computer science department as the Department of Numerical Automation in 1957. Their work in creating some of the world’s first electronic computers is celebrated annually through the Andrew and Kathleen Booth Memorial Lecture.

In 1953, the Booths co-authored their best-known book entitled ‘Automatic Digital Calculators’, which ran to three editions. As part of her software development work, Kathleen developed the first Assembly Language and in 1958 published the book ‘Programming for an Automatic Digital Calculator’.

In 1962, the Booths left Birkbeck to pursue distinguished academic careers in Canada. Kathleen celebrated her 100th birthday in July 2022.

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