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Towards the Semantic Web: the Power of Networks

Published: 
3 May 2005

Professor Wendy Hall CBE, FREng, Head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, will give the sixth annual Athena Lecture at Imperial College London on Wednesday 4 May (tomorrow).

In her lecture, Professor Hall will draw on her own experience and her personal research journey to emphasize the powerful role that networks can play, both in computing, but also in tackling issues and problems in research and academic life more generally.

Professor Hall comments: "The Semantic Web is Tim Berners-Lee's vision of the next generation of the Web. In this talk I plan to describe my personal research journey, from my early days of hypermedia and multimedia research, through Web-based link services, to the Semantic Web technologies we are building today, in the context of my career as a woman in engineering.

"As we design and build complex knowledge-based systems to help us make sense of the vast amounts of information available to us on an everyday basis via the world wide web, I am constantly aware of how we increasingly use networks of machines, systems and people to solve the research problems that face us.

"I have found in my career that the power of networks is the best way to overcome some of the issues that arise from the still overwhelming gender imbalance in SET (Science, Engineering and Technology). I will conclude the lecture with a look to the future, using my current research interests at the interface of computer science and the life sciences to paint a picture of a world in which there are as many women computer scientists as there are men."

Professor Wendy Hall is one of the world's leading computer scientists. She is a member of the Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology, immediate Past President of the British Computer Society, and the only UK council member of the US Association for Computing Machinery.

Notes for editors

  1. The lecture takes place in Lecture Theatre G16, Sir Alexander Fleming Building, Imperial College South Kensington Campus, at 5 pm, on Wednesday 4 May. The lecture will be chaired by Sir Richard Sykes, Rector, Imperial College London.
  2. A photograph of Professor Wendy Hall is available on request from Joyce Lewis.
  3. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has over 20,000 students and over 5,000 staff. Its annual turnover is in the region of £270 million.
  4. The School of Electronics and Computer Science is a world-leading centre of excellence for research, teaching, enterprise and innovation in computer science, electronics, and electrical engineering. Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, is a member of faculty in the School.

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