Women and gender-diversity in computer science
Supporting women and diverse students at The University of Manchester.
Women and all diverse groups are a large part of what makes Computer Science what it is today. Ada Lovelace, Katherine G. Johnson, our very own Alan Turing, diversity has contributed an insurmountable sum to the field since the earliest days of computing.
The Computer Science Department at The University of Manchester has one of the highest proportions of women in the UK, and every year we work to provide more well-deserved opportunity to both our academic staff and students.
Computer Science is the most versatile subject and can be applicable anywhere. Sitting right at the intersection of technology, problem solving, and art, it not only encapsulates my interests but provides limitless opportunities for success!
From my background in art, I turned to computer graphics because, as a subject, it prepares you for any interdisciplinary area. It really is the hottest field with maximum demand, both in industry and academia.Dr. Zahra Montazeri / Lecturer in Graphics and Virtual Environment
It is our ongoing commitment to support our diverse student base on their journey to a rewarding career. To do this, we work hard to continually curate a fair environment - led by academics from different backgrounds working across a spectrum of exciting areas within computer science.
There are many spaces you can find a support network at our university, and the Manchester Students Union Society Page is a great place to begin. Here is a list of just some of the societies we recommend:
- African Caribbean @ACSmanchester
- BAS (British Asian Society) @britasiansocmcr
- Black Girls’ Space @bgsmcr
- Disabled Student’s Society @uomdisabledsoc
- LGBTQ+ @uomlgbtqsociety
- QTIPOC @uom_qtipoc
- WES (Women in Engineering) @wes.uom
- WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) @manchesterwise
Every year, the reasons to choose computer science grow. For insight into why so many students and staff choose to study at Manchester, take a moment to enjoy our video series.
Athena Swan Award
Most important to us is making a tangible, positive impact on the everyday lives of the women and diverse groups in our department. Just one measure of this is our Athena Swan Bronze Award.
Athena Swan is a scheme which recognises both our ongoing commitment to creating culture change within our department and the advancement of gender equality.
Meet our leading academics, and the vital work they do in the advancement of computer science.
Professor Sophia Ananiadou
My work: I work in Natural Language Processing and Text Mining, both part of AI. I analyse big textual data from different sources to extract automatically hidden associations and to discover new knowledge for different applications (search, curation) and domains (biomedicine, humanities, biodiversity).
My view of CS: An exciting area of disciplines merging for practical applications.
My way into CS: I was always very interested in language learning. My first degree was in linguistics, then sociolinguistics and computational linguistics. I was then offered a job to work on a large EC project on machine translation and never looked back.
Other interests: I enjoy travelling, visiting museums, films and the opera.
Read more about Sophia and her research
Dr Sarah Clinch
My work: I study technology embedded in everything that we do, even when we have no real awareness that a computer is involved (ubiquitous computing). I'm particularly interested in the role of technology in cognition and mental health.
My view of CS: The breadth of the discipline continues to astound and fascinate me. For me CS is the perfect balance of logic and creativity, and its widespread applicability means there's always a new avenue to explore.
My way into CS: My dad was a programmer, but I was convinced that it didn't really interest me that much. I started out minoring in CS at University because I had to choose I science -- I quickly discovered that I enjoyed programming at least as much as my psychology major and finished up graduating in CS instead.
Other interests: Being outside makes me smile -- walking, pottering in the garden and geocaching. I'm also a keen knitter with enough wool socks to see me through even the harshest of winters.
Read more about Sarah and her research
Dr Caroline Jay
My work: I'm interested in the interaction between people and technology, from writing code to creating and using tools.
My view of CS: Creating technology is about solving problems, and it requires people from a diversity of backgrounds, with a diversity of skills, to achieve the best results.
My way into CS: My first degree was in psychology. I wanted to do an MSc in Cognitive Science (which would have taught me how to program), but when this was discontinued, I opted (on a whim!) to do Computer Science instead. After graduating, I worked for a short time as a software engineer, before coming back to do a PhD.
Other interests: Like all computer scientists I know, I like to spend time away from computers. I'm happiest on a boat or up a mountain.
Read more about Caroline and her research
Professor Uli Sattler
My work: I design languages and algorithms to help people like biologists or medics to share their knowledge so that computers can use it to make systems more intelligent.
My view of CS: A great area to work in: very creative and with applications in all kinds of subjects, from physics via climate modelling to cancer research.
My way into CS: I used to be a dress maker before discovering CS by chance, via a friend (thank you!).
Other interests: I love all sorts of sports, in particular hiking and skiing, as well as dancing and crafts.
Read more about Uli and her research
Dr Andrea Schalk
My work: What is the mathematics that will allow us to understand computational processes or logical derivations? I try to find answers to this question.
My view of CS: Computer science is a platform that allows people to tackle issues everywhere, and so our alumni work in varied fields when they leave here. It's possible to study both, maths and computer science in a joint degree here.
My way in to CS: I'm a mathematician by training and became excited about the wide variety of areas of mathematics which are of use when modelling computational processes.
Other interests: When I'm out of the office I enjoy visiting wild places and taking photos of birds, mammals, and their wider habitats.
Read more about Andrea and her research