Karen Spärk Jones Lecture and Award – a clarification

I have to admit that I was very confused about the relationship between the Lecture and the Award before realizing that there was no relationship other than the name of the honouree.

This year the 2019 Karen Spärk Jones Lecture will be given by Professor Mirella Lapata, University of Edinburgh on Wednesday 23 October 2019 at Imperial College, London. This Lecture is sponsored by IBM and is the responsibility of The BCS Academy of Computing. The Award honours women in computing research.

There is also a Karen Spärk Jones Award. This is in the gift of the Information Retrieval Specialist Group of the BCS. The objective is to encourage and promote talented researchers who have endeavoured to advance our understanding of Natural Language Processing and/or Information Retrieval with significant experimental contributions. A list of award winners can be found on the IRSG web site. The winner will announced in December this year and the award will be presented at ECIR 2020.

This year, to add to my confusion, Mirella Lapata is professor of natural language processing in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on getting computers to understand, reason with, and generate natural language. She was also the first recipient (2009) of the BCS and Information Retrieval Specialist Group (BCS/IRSG) Karen Spärk Jones Award. Complicated!

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