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Introduction What tools inspire you? Did a woman invent it? Did history record this woman's contribution? Did someone else take the credit for it (perhaps a man)? How was this woman educated? Who...

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Introduction What tools inspire you? Did a woman invent it? Did history record this woman's contribution? Did someone else take the credit for it (perhaps a man)? How was this woman educated? Who helped encourage her? What was happening with technology during this time period in her culture? How has her invention evolved over time? These questions can help you get started researching and choosing either an historical or modern female technologist, inventor, or scientist from another country/culture to focus on. Your research, when published online, can add to the sometimes skimpy amount of information available about women in history. You will find that some resources are perhaps inaccurate or out of date. With that in mind, write the Cultural Research project with quality content so that others can benefit from the knowledge. The project involves researching how women have used and are now using technology in another country/culture. You will choose an historical or modern figure to focus on and cite the historical significance and trends. You'll post your research, interviews, data, and related media in your website Pages. Scoring Criteria This project will be scored by the following criteria: Research and your original writing on an historical or modern female technologist from another country/culture is included. How women in that culture and time period use(d) technology is discussed. (8 points) General description of the culture in that era. What tools, devices, appliances, and machines were commonly used by women in that culture and era? Interpretations, comparisons, and conclusions of trends are included. (8 points) Statistics related to gender and Education and Business/industry in the culture and era. How have the numbers changed and what was their influence? Biographical details (4 points) Childhood influences and education Work experiences Technology details (8 points) What tools and methods did this woman employ in her research and inventions? Provide details and define terms to help a lay audience understand the complexities of the technology. Citations follow standards. Historical significance and trends are cited in captions or inline following (Author year) format. (1 point) Text passages are cited inline following (Author year) format. (1 point) Bibliography includes all sources used. Each entry must include author name, title, publisher, year, and URL (1 point) Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Write in your own words. Quote only a few sentences of others' writings. Links embedded in the inline citations and bibliography when applicable. (2 point) Material is presented online in a multi-page web site. (3 points) Navigation to each page is included on each page. (1 point) Media include descriptive captions. (1 point) Media include proper copyright statements. (1 point) Images are optimized for fast downloading. (1 point) I chose Karen Spärck Jones Important: I need a least 7 sources that have to be scholar papers from google yahoo... and no wikipedia or

Answered Same Day May 03, 2020


Azra S answered on May 06 2020
154 Votes

Karen Sparck Jones- The unconventional Computing Genius
Table of Contents
Childhood and Education
Introduction to Computing
Computing and Women in the 1980's
Personal Life
Women in computing technology- a decline
Possible reasons for the decline
Conclusion- A changing world
There are many people in this world who influence us in more ways than we know. They leave an unerasable mark on the course of time through their hard work, effort, and struggle. Many of them are acknowledged for their efforts while others are not. Many of them are men and many of them women. However, their gender makes no difference to their achievements. Their marks remain and history no longer remains the same because of those achievements.
One such extraordinary woman was Karen Sparck Jones. A woman who pioneered in Computer Technology at a time when it was rapidly declining. The achievements of this woman set the scales right, that computer technology need not be a male-dominated field and that women are more than capable of pioneering in this field as every other.
The eventful life of this ordinary and
ight woman has become an example for women of all times. She was someone who loved her work and subject and until the very end continued to make her share of contributions to science and world as a whole.
Childhood and Education
Karen Ida Boalth Sparck Jones was born to ordinary parents on a fine day in August in 1935. Her birthplace is reportedly Huddersfield, a textile manufacturing town in Yorkshire in England. Jones father, Owen Jones was a chemistry lecturer while her mother Ida Sparck was a Norwegian who had settled in Britain while fleeing from the German invasion in 1940. Since, Jones was an only child she was very much loved by her parents. Jones spent most of her childhood in Huddersfield, except for a few years during the war when she was sent away to live with another family in the country.
Jones father taught in a technical college for a long time. He was very particular about Jones education and wanted her to attend university as did her mother. Since her very childhood, Jones was interested in studies. She liked school and wanted to go to university herself. Back then in UK schools, there was a choice between arts and science. Jones took science but was more interested in humanities. She didn't like maths or learn it very well something she regretted later on.
Women's education and employment in 1950's
During the 1950's, there was a lot of stress on motherhood and the politics focussed more on family life than education and employment for women. This trend changed and became more liberal in 1960 and feminists rose to endorse several political and social changes in the society. Towards the 1970's and 80's women had secured the Equal Pay Act and Sex Discrimination Act in their favor. So there was a steady rise in the education and employment of women from 1960 to 1980s.
The use of machinery and devices in British household was still very limited. Women involved in factories used the commercial machines. Women employed as typists and in clerkical jobs used type writers but computers were still not used personally or commecially. (Bingham, 2015)
At that time, grammer schools were where girls went for secondary education and that is where Jones studied from 11 years to 18 years of age. The school offered serious education and since Jones loved her academics she was fond of it. Later she passed the competitive exams to enter Cam
idge to her parent's great delight. At that time, even though the schools provided training for university entrance exams, Cam
idge and Oxford exams were at a different level. While Jones father aspired her to take sciences, Jones wanted to study history and that is what she did.
During the first year of her university, Jones father died. She continued her education in the university studying history for three years. She graduated in 1956 in a men-dominated university. At that time there were only two women's colleges in Cam
idge, Girton and Newham and the estimate of women to men was 1 to 9. This however, did not deter her from pursuing her studies dedicatedly. Women during that time took their studies very seriously since they were grateful to have the opportunity to study at Cam
idge. At that time, getting into a college such as Cam
idge was a big challenge for women.
After completing her graduation, she had to look for a job and was stuck in a school as a teacher. She didn't like her job from the beginning. Jones considered herself lucky for knowing Roger Needham as a friend from the first year of university. He was involved in Cam
idge Language Research Unit. This unit had started research on machine translation and Jones was invited to work as an assistant there for Margaret Masterman. She agreed.
This was how she got introduced to computers and the idea of machine translation and information retrieval was born. (Jones, 2001)
Introduction to Computing
The achievements of this unusual woman are many. The first being that she took computing technology as a career after becoming a graduate in humanities. People tend to think that education is over after obtaining a degree and that once you start to work, there is no scope for learning, especially in a field you hardly know anything about.
Jones was different. She got interested in computing and programming and even though she had left doing maths when she was 15, her renewed interest plunged her into studying Maths and Programming eventually making her a revered figure in the field of Computing and Information Technology.
The greatest challenge that Jones faced while studying computing was that she had little or no background in computers. Though her study of philosophy and humanities helped her in building her thesauri, she couldn't get through to the programming. This handicapped the many ideas she had. However, Jones didn't su
ender. She worked around her handicaps to achieve her goal of becoming a successful programmer.
After Jones joined the Cam
idge Language Research Unit, she registered as a Research Student. While she couldn't program, she used her to-be husband's expertise to have her ideas executed. However, not long after, she became weary and wanted to learn to programme herself. This she achieved by attending various programming courses.
Later in 1974, she started to work at Cam
idge's Computer Laboratory from 1974 until she retired in 2002. She became a Professor of Computers and Information at Cam
idge from 2000- 2002 and a Vice-President of the British Academy. If we were to class her life, she would have spent more than 50 years contributing to Computer and Linguistics. (Jones, 2001)
Computing and Women in the 1980's
When Jones was making significant contributions to the computing world, women were not too disassociated with the programming world. The keen interest of Jones first employer Margaret Masterman is a proof of that. Many other women were involved in computers and programming around the world. Women such as Ada Lovelace , Grace Mu
ay Hopper and Margaret R. Fox had already made their mark in computing history. However, the culture of women in Britain relating to computers was not very developed.
As Jones career advanced, women studying in the field of computing declined. This could have been because of the advent of personal computers and its popularization as a man's machine. Women at that time rarely used personal computers. They often opted for jobs in the lesser paying areas like teaching and journalism, as did Jones herself initially. As lesser and lesser women started to study computers, the IT field became a men-dominated area of study and it saddened Jones to see that. She would often advocate women to study computer technology and was always confident that women have more to offer to this field than they think. (Tait, 2007)
Jones' first work was the development of the use of thesauri for automatic machine translations. This involved encoding some words and their synonyms on punched cards for automatic retrieval of words. It was a work that would allow computers to establish relationships between ambiguous words and produce the desired result accordingly and for this, she along with Needham developed entirely new thesauri using dictionaries and Needham's theory of classification. (Wilks and Tait, 2005). Basically what Jones was doing was developing the modern thesarus used in computers.
Later she began to work on Information Retrieval or IR in about 1960. This is when she started working on Inverse document frequency or IDF as well, another one of her amazing achievements. She published a paper on it in 1972 in the Journal of Documentation. IDF is today used in most, if not all search engines. Information Retrieval and Inverse Document Frequency form the basis of the working of search engines today. It is due to them that we are able to search the internet or computers for information by simply typing a few words.
She later collaborated with Stephen Robertson, to develop relevance weighting for terms. This led to the development of a successful model for Information Retrieval.
Jones was never after fame. What she wanted was to reach as much development as possible using computers which she thought could
ing about great changes and advanement for humans.
Jones gained several fellowships during her career. In 1965 she got a research fellowship at Newnham and later became a Royal Society Research Fellow. She also became a Li
arian of Darwin College and an official Fellow from 1968 to 1980. She held the position of Senior research associate or GEC Fellow and became an Assistant Director of Research. In 1999 she became a Professor.
Her published works include Automatic keyword Classification for Information Retrieval in 1971, Linguistics and Information Science in 1973.
Besides academic achievements, she aided greatly in the establishment of Intelligent Knowledge-Based Systems research area within the UK Alvey programme that boosted language work in the 1980's greatly.
Jones was made the president of the ACL in 1994. She also taught MPhil in Computer Speech and Language Processing at Cam
idge supervising Ph.D. students in the development of NLP (Natural Language Processing) and IR (Information Retrieval). She helped in the development of scholarly journals and other publications including editing of Information Retrieval Experiment (1981); Automatic Natural Language Parsing (1983); Readings in Natural Language Processing (1986); Evaluating Natural Language Processing Systems (1996); Readings in Information Retrieval (1997); and Computer Systems: theory, technology and applications (2004).
Jones received many accolades and awards for her words. These awards included Ge
ard Salton Award, ASIS&T Award of merit, ACL Lifetime Achievement Award, ACM-AAAI Allen Newell Award, BCS Lovelace Medal, ACM Women's Group Athena Award. Besides all this, in honor of her achievements, Karen Sparck Jones Award was created by the British Computer Society in 2008. (Tait, 2007)
Personal life
Jones ma
ied her colleague Roger Needham and they lived happily together until his death. They lodged in a house they built themselves and enjoyed a shared interest in yachting. They even owned a boat. That was the only time they tore away from their research. They didn't have any children.
Needton died in 2003. Jones lived for approximately 4 years after his death. She died on 4th April 2007 at Willingham in Cam
idgeshire, after battling cancer for several months at the age of 71. (Robertson & Tait, 2007)
The life of Jones was a demonstration of dedication and inspiration for one and all, men and women. She proved through her life that it is possible for people to change careers. It is possible to learn new things even as adults and it is very much possible for women to become what people think they can't. There is no field beyond the scope of women and Jones was a living proof of that.
Women in computing technology- a decline
There is something about computing and information technology that seems to make women hesitate. Either, it is the perception of being unable to succeed or perhaps the perception that maths is something they can't really do. Something in the computational field just dampens women out.
It might be surprising to know that this has not always been the case. In its initial phase, programming was a field in which women were more involved than men. A lot of the programmers of the first digital computers were women (Gürer, 2002). However, things changed for some reason.
Source- (American Association of Medical Colleges, 2014) https:
The above graph demonstrates the percentage of women in different fields since 1960. It shows the trends till late 2010. While the participation of women in all the other fields has risen, computer science remains the only field that has seen a steep downwards trend especially since 1980's when it reached a peak.
It may be difficult to point out what exactly changed but the decline has been particularly noticeable since 1984 when personal computers started entering homes and became popular.
Possible reasons for the decline
The stereotype attached to computers when their marketing began was that they were mainly for boys and men. Women using computers within homes was very rare and a kind of techie culture sprang into action. So if you had to be a computer genius or geek, you had to be a man.
While these computers did not perform anything too useful, they were still entitled to the male population and women had little to do with them. This could be a possible reason for decline in women's interest in computers.
Another reason could be that women usually opt for lower-paying jobs that are more satisfying to them like journalism and education. On the other hand, men need to earn for their families and hence choose high-paying careers like engineering and computer sciences.
One other possible reason could be the discomfort women feel in a field that is dominated by men. If you feel that that kind of environment is just not for you, you would hesitate before even thinking about it. So with exceptional women who like to venture into the unknown, women choose careers they find more fulfilling.
The world of computing requires a lot of dedication. It is a field in which the latest developments and updates mean a lot. Since it is so demanding, women often feel incapable of keeping up with its trends due to their focus on personal lives, family, and children.
There is also the great misconception that computer technology revolves only around programming. This is not true and women need to enter the field in order to find out the various diverse fields of computer technology. This is clearly demonstrated through the life of Jones who was not even a computer major and didn't know any significant Maths, to begin with.
Grades are also a great matter of concern to students. If a student feels that her grades would be better on another subject, there is no reason she would choose a subject like computing and
ing her grades down. In an age of severe competition, to students grades are vital and they wouldn't want to compromise on them. (A
ate, 2012, p.145)
It may also come down to some level of corporate bias in the field of computing. Men are considered to be better programmers than women. This kind of thought leads to better job opportunities for men than women. In addition, having a small number of women colleagues adds to the discomfort zone at work.
Karen Sparck Jones however never stopped believing in the power of women to accomplish new things in the field of computers. She believed the field was limitless and there was much women could do. She always advocated the role of women in computing and campaigned for it.
Conclusion- A changing world
In spite of this decline, the work of women like Jones have proven that the field of computing need not be left to men.
Karen Spärck Jones campaigned hard to get women into computing. "My slogan is: 'Computing is too important to be left to men' (Tait, 2007)
There are many things women are better at than men. Women are more creative and more responsible. In addition, they are more organized and have the advantage of a critical eye. All of these are important skills that are very helpful in computing.
Women need to stop thinking of computer programming and technology as difficult and full of mathematical problems. If this thought pattern is successfully changed, more women will definitely look into computer technology as a credible field as they once did. (Roberts, Kassianidou, & Irani, 2002)
Jones believed that women could
ing about a different outlook to computing compared to men and that, in her view was very important to the field.
"I think women actually are capable of looking at some wider aspects of computing and not just getting hooked entirely on the technology" (Jones, 2001)
Jones isn't the only woman who made such achievements in computer science and she will definitely not be the last. Women like Rosa Peter, Ada Lovelace , Grace Mu
ay Hopper , Margaret R. Fox, Alexandra Illmer Forsythe, Erna Schneider Hoover, Adele Goldstein, and Joan Margaret Winters have made enough contributions to the computing field to serve as an encouragement.
As women become more conscious of their skills and abilities, computer science like every other field will become a playground for women to practice their creativity and
ing about a more positive change in the world. All what they need to do, is give it a try like Karen Sparck Jones.
Bingham, A. (2015) ‘An Era of Domesticity’? Histories of Women and Gender in Interwar Britain, Cultural and Social History, 1(2),pp. 225-233, Retrieved from: 10.1191/1478003804cs0014ra
Jones, K.S. (2001). An oral history: Karen Sparck Jones/ Interviewer: J. A
ate [Transcript]. IEEE History Center, Hoboken, NJ, USA. Retrieved from http:ärck_Jones
Tait, J.I. (2007). Karen Spärck Jones. Computational Linguistics, 33 (3), pp. 289-291. Retrieved from http:
Robertson, S. & Tait, J. (2007). In Memoriam: Karen Spärck Jones.. Inf. Process. Manage.. 43. 1441-1444. 10.1108/jd.2007.27863eaa.001.
Wilks Y.A. & Tait J.I. (2005) A Retrospective View of Synonymy and Semantic Classification. Charting a New Course: Natural Language Processing and Information Retrieval. The Kluwer International Series on Information Retrieval, 16, pp. 1-11. Retrieved from https:
Gürer, D.W. (2002). Pioneering women in computer science. SIGCSE Bulletin, 34, pp. 175-180.
ate, J. (2012). Recoding Gender: Women's Changing Participation in Computing, MIT press, p 145
Roberts, E.S., Kassianidou, M. & Irani, L. (2002). Encouraging women in computer science. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin - Women and Computing, 34(2), pp. 84-88. Retrieved from http:

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