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Wendy Hall

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Wendy Hall
Hall in 2011
Wendy Hall

(1952-10-25) 25 October 1952 (age 71)[5]
London, England, UK
EducationEaling Grammar School for Girls
Alma mater
Known forWeb science
Peter E. Chandler
(m. 1980)
AwardsSuffrage Science award (2016)
Scientific career
ThesisAutomorphisms and coverings of Klein surfaces (1977)
Doctoral advisorDavid Singerman[4]

Dame Wendy Hall DBE FRS FREng MAE FIET[7] (born 25 October 1952) is a British computer scientist. She is Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Wendy Hall was born in west London and educated at Ealing Grammar School for Girls. She studied for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in mathematics at the University of Southampton. She completed her Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in 1974, and her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in 1977.[5] Her doctoral thesis was titled Automorphisms and coverings of Klein surfaces.[9] She later completed a Master of Science degree in Computing at City University London.[5][2]


Hall returned to the University of Southampton in 1984 to join the newly formed computer science group there, working in multimedia and hypermedia.[10] Her team invented the Microcosm hypermedia system[11] (before the World Wide Web existed), which was commercialised as a start-up company, Multicosm Ltd.[12]

Wendy Hall and Hugh Davis led the Multimedia Research Group at the University of Southampton, which created commercial systems near the beginning of the hypertext and database system era, including:

  • Microcosm 1994 (which used link services)
  • Distributed Link Services 1995
  • Multicosm 1998
  • Portal Maximizer 2001

These systems used a separate server to hold a linkbase and recorded links from anchor points within a Word or pdf document, similar to Vannevar Bush’s original vision of hypertext documents.[13]

Hall was appointed the university's first female professor of engineering in 1994. She then served as Head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science from 2002 to 2007.[14]

In 2006, along with Tim Berners-Lee, Nigel Shadbolt[15] and Daniel Weitzner, Hall became a founding director of the Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI).[16] Now known as the Web Science Trust, the WSRI was originally a collaboration between the University of Southampton (ECS) and MIT (CSAIL) which aimed to coordinate and support the study of the World Wide Web.[16][17] The WSRI's activities helped to formally establish the concept of Web Science,[17] and Hall is now executive director of the Web Science Trust.[18]

Hall was President of the British Computer Society from 2003 to 2004[1][19][20] and of the Association for Computing Machinery from 2008 to 2010.[21] Since 2014, she has served as a Commissioner for the Global Commission on Internet Governance.[22]

In 2017, Hall was appointed Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton.[23]

In 2020, she was appointed as Chair of the Ada Lovelace Institute by the Nuffield Foundation – the organisation's independent funder, succeeding Alan Wilson.[24]

Since 2022, Hall has been the Editor-in-Chief of Royal Society Open Science[25] and served as the Chair of the Royal Society Publishing Board from 2017 to 2022.

Awards and honours[edit]

Hall was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2000 Birthday Honours. She was promoted to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours.[26][27][28]

Hall also has honorary degrees from Oxford Brookes University, Glamorgan University, Cardiff University, Open University of Catalonia[29] and the University of Pretoria.[10]

In 2000, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng).[7] She is a Fellow of the British Computer Society (FBCS) (also serving as president) and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET). In 2002, she was appointed a Fellow of the City and Guilds (FCGI). Hall was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2009.[30]

Her nomination for the Royal Society reads:

Distinguished for her contribution to understanding the interactions of humans with large scale multimedia information systems. Her early ideas which developed in parallel with development of the world wide web, www, are now forming key elements of subsequent development into the Semantic Web. Her most recent work focuses on the development of a new field of Web Science focused on understanding and exploring the various influences, science, commerce, public, politics which drive the evolution of the www. Her research is aimed at both understanding the evolution of the web and engineering its future.[31]

In 2006, she was the winner of the ABIE Award for Technical Leadership from the Anita Borg Institute.[32][33]

In 2010, she was named a Fellow of the ACM "for contributions to the semantic web[34] and web science[35] and for service to ACM and the international computing community."[36] In 2016, she was named a Kluge Chair in Technology and society at the Library of Congress.[37] She is a member of the Advisory Council for the Campaign for Science and Engineering,[38] and a member of the Academia Europaea.[39]

She was one of the 30 women identified in the BCS Women in IT Campaign in 2014[40] and was featured in the e-book of these 30 women in IT, "Women in IT: Inspiring the next generation" produced by the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, as a free download e-book, from various sources.[41]

In February 2013, she was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4.[42] In her Desert Island Discs in 2014, on the same radio channel, she chose Wikipedia as the book she would most like if abandoned on a desert island.[2] She won the Suffrage Science award in 2016.


In addition to over 500 peer-reviewed journal articles, Hall co-authored Four Internets with Kieron O'Hara and Vint Cerf in 2021.[43]

Personal life[edit]

Hall is married to Peter Chandler, a plasma physicist.[5][2]


  1. ^ a b Wendy Hall publications indexed by Google Scholar
  2. ^ a b c d Wendy Hall interviewed by Kirsty Young, 14 July 2014, BBC Desert Island Discs The presenter Kirsty Young allowed her to have a copy of Wikipedia but, to be within the rules, it had to be a paper based version
  3. ^ a b Wendy Hall interviewed by Jim Al-Khalili, 8 October 2013, The Life Scientific, BBC Radio 4
  4. ^ Wendy Hall at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  5. ^ a b c d e f Anon (2019). "Hall, Dame Wendy, (Dame Wendy Chandler)". Who's Who. A & C Black. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U18678. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  6. ^ "Wendy Hall". The Life Scientific. 8 October 2013. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  7. ^ a b "List of Fellows".
  8. ^ Jane Morgan. "Professor Wendy Hall". soton.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
  9. ^ Hall, Wendy (1977). Automorphisms and coverings of Klein surfaces (PhD thesis). University of Southampton.
  10. ^ a b "Professor Wendy Hall - Official site". Archived from the original on 21 September 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  11. ^ Hall, W.; Hill, G.; Davis, H. (1993). "The microcosm link service". Proceedings of the fifth ACM conference on Hypertext - HYPERTEXT '93. pp. 256–59. doi:10.1145/168750.168842. ISBN 978-0897916240. S2CID 6200239.
  12. ^ Biever, Celeste (25 November 2006). "It's a woman's world wide web". New Scientist. 192 (2579): 58–59. doi:10.1016/S0262-4079(06)61214-1.
  13. ^ Landow, George P. (2006). Hypertext 3.0: critical theory and new media in an era of globalization. Parallax (3rd ed.). Baltimore (Md.): Johns Hopkins university press. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-8018-8256-2.
  14. ^ Atzenbeck, C. (2008). "Interview with Wendy Hall". ACM SIGWEB Newsletter. 2007: 1. doi:10.1145/1350502.1350503. S2CID 1785261.
  15. ^ Hall, W.; De Roure, D.; Shadbolt, N. (2009). "The evolution of the Web and implications for eResearch". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. 367 (1890): 991–1001. Bibcode:2009RSPTA.367..991H. doi:10.1098/rsta.2008.0252. PMID 19087929.
  16. ^ a b Hall, Wendy (2017). "Web Science @ 10". Proceedings of the 26th International Conference on World Wide Web Companion - WWW '17 Companion. Perth, Australia: ACM Press. p. 961. doi:10.1145/3041021.3055203. ISBN 9781450349147. S2CID 20486905.
  17. ^ a b "About Us". Web Science Trust. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  18. ^ "Web Science Trust Board". Web Science Trust. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  19. ^ "BCS Past Presidents. A list of BCS Past Presidents from 1957 onwards". Archived from the original on 14 April 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  20. ^ Wendy Hall's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  21. ^ "Past Presidents". acm.org. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  22. ^ "Global Commission on Internet Governance". OurInternet. 20 January 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  23. ^ "Dame Wendy Hall appointed Regius Professor in Computer Science". University of Southampton News. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  24. ^ "Professor Dame Wendy Hall appointed Chair of the Ada Lovelace Institute". Nuffield Foundation. 18 May 2020. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  25. ^ Hall, Wendy (2022). "Editorial 2022". Royal Society Open Science. 9 (3). The Royal Society: 220229. Bibcode:2022RSOS....920229H. doi:10.1098/rsos.220229. PMC 8905174. PMID 35291322. S2CID 247295568.
  26. ^ "Pioneer of cyberspace honoured". BBC News Online. 31 December 2008. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
  27. ^ "No. 58929". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2008. p. 6.
  28. ^ Anthea Lipsett (31 December 2008). "Visionary computer scientist becomes a dame". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
  29. ^ Catalunya, Universitat Oberta de. "Wendy Hall, honorary doctorate by the UOC". UOC (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya). Retrieved 31 July 2023.
  30. ^ Prof Dame Wendy Hall-Managing Director, webscience.org; retrieved 7 April 2016.
  31. ^ "EC/2009/15: Hall, Wendy". London, UK: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 21 January 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  32. ^ "Wendy Hall - AnitaB.org". AnitaB.org. 1 October 2006. Archived from the original on 7 August 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  33. ^ "Abie Awards - AnitaB.org". AnitaB.org. Archived from the original on 7 August 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  34. ^ Shadbolt, Nigel; Berners-Lee, Tim; Hall, Wendy (2006). "The Semantic Web Revisited" (PDF). IEEE Intelligent Systems. 21 (3): 96–101. doi:10.1109/MIS.2006.62. S2CID 7719423.
  35. ^ Berners-Lee, T.; Hall, W.; Hendler, J.; Shadbolt, N.; Weitzner, D. (2006). "Computer Science: Enhanced: Creating a Science of the Web". Science. 313 (5788): 769–71. doi:10.1126/science.1126902. PMID 16902115. S2CID 5104030.
  36. ^ ACM Names 41 Fellows from World's Leading Institutions: Many Innovations Made in Areas Critical to Global Competitiveness Archived 28 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, ACM.org, 7 December 2010; retrieved 20 November 2011.
  37. ^ "Wendy Hall Named Kluge Chair", The Library of Congress, retrieved 23 May 2017
  38. ^ "Advisory Council of the Campaign for Science and Engineering". Retrieved 11 February 2011.
  39. ^ Member profile: Wendy Hall, Academia Europaea, retrieved 18 September 2015
  40. ^ "Professor Dame Wendy Hall". British Computer Society. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
  41. ^ Women in IT: Inspiring the next generation (PDF). British Computer Society. 1 October 2014. p. 57. ISBN 978-1-78017-287-3. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  42. ^ "Woman's Hour - The Power List 2013 - BBC Radio 4". BBC. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  43. ^ Four Internets. Oxford University Press. 22 October 2021. ISBN 978-0-19-752368-1. Retrieved 2 March 2023.

Further reading[edit]