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The University of Southampton
Web Science Institute

Southampton Professor elected to lead global computing organisation

Published: 4 June 2008
wendy hall

A Southampton professor has been elected president of the world's largest educational and scientific computing society - the first time in 60 years a person outside North America has held the position.

Professor Wendy Hall was announced as the new President of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

Professor Hall, who is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, said her goal as president is to help ACM reach its full potential by expanding international initiatives and increasing gender diversity in all aspects of computing.

The ACM is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society with nearly 90,000 members around the world, representing business and the professions, education, and research and development.

As a past president of the British Computer Society from 2003-04 and a researcher with many international connections, Professor Hall expressed her commitment to guiding ACM towards more initiatives in India and China.

She also indicated her interest in rethinking the society's relationship with Europe and exploring relevant opportunities in South America and other parts of the world during her two-year term.

Her current research includes applications of the Semantic Web and exploring the interface between the life sciences and the physical sciences. She is a founding director, along with Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Professor Nigel Shadbolt and Daniel J Weitzner, of the Web Science Research Initiative, which was launched in 2006 as a long-term research collaboration between the University of Southampton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Professor Hall is a member of the UK Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology and is a founding member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council.

An active member of the Special Interest Group on Hypertext, Hypermedia, and Web (SIGWEB) as well as the Special Interest Group on Multimedia (SIGMM), she has also chaired the World Wide Web conference WWW2006. She has previously served as ACM Vice-President.

She is currently Senior Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, in London, where she is also a Fellow. Her other honours include Fellow of the British Computer Society and of the UK's Institution of Engineering and Technology. She won the Anita Borg Award for Technical Leadership 2006 from the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and was awarded a CBE in 2000.

University of Southampton Vice-Chancellor Professor Bill Wakeham said: "Wendy Hall has pioneered research in computer science across the globe. I am delighted that her contribution to this field has been recognised with her appointment to this prestigious post."

Notes for editors

  1. A photo of Professor Wendy Hall is available from Communications on request.

  2. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship.

    This is one of the country's top institutions for engineering, computer science and medicine, and home to a range of world-leading research centres, including the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, the Optoelectronics Research Centre, the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, and the Mountbatten Centre for International Studies.

    We combine academic excellence with an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to research, supporting a culture that engages and challenges students and staff in their pursuit of learning.

    As one of the UK's top ten research universities, we offer first-rate opportunities and facilities for study and research across a wide range of subjects in humanities, health, science and engineering.

    We have over 22,000 students, around 5,000 staff, and an annual turnover in the region of £325 million.

  3. For further information

    Liz Gilbride, Communications, University of Southampton,
    Tel: 023 8059 2128, email:

    Joyce Lewis, Marketing and Communications Manager, School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton
    Tel: 023 8059 5453, email:

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