Scholarships awarded to top female students

6 January 2011

Two University of Sydney students have been recognised for advancing women's status in academia with scholarships from the Australian Federation of Graduate Women (AFGW).

Nicky Ringland was awarded the 2010 Tempe Mann Travelling Scholarship, which provides $7500 towards advanced research or coursework at an overseas university.

A student in the University's School of Information Technologies, Ringland's research focuses on building computer systems and software that understand natural languages. Specifically, her work will analyse the syntactic structures of proper nouns to improve computers' understanding of text and language.

Ringland also received the 2010 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, which recognises women's excellence and leadership in the field of computing and technology.

"I am passionate about encouraging women into the field of IT," says Ringland.

"Enrolments in Computer Science degrees have one of the largest gender imbalances in Australia, and I think a large part of this is due to the fact that many girls have simply never considered IT as a potential field for tertiary education."

To this end, Ringland is also involved in the running of the Girls' Programming Network, an outreach program at the University of Sydney designed to encourage high school girls to explore the field of IT.

Ringland will use her grant to pursue further research at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Cambridge.

Angela Carberry, who is currently studying a Doctor of Philosophy at the Sydney School of Public Health, was awarded the AFGW Beryl Henderson Grant.

Commemorating the life and achievements of Beryl Henderson, a leading women's rights campaigner and Australia and the UK, the grant provides $1500 to assist in the completion of a worthy research project by a female student or researcher.

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