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DCU student reaches final in International Google scholarship
Tuesday 3 July 2007

Sara Morrissey, a DCU Computing PhD student
Sara Morrissey, a DCU Computing PhD student

Sara Morrissey, a DCU Computing PhD student, recently became the only Irish finalist in the Google Europe Anita Borg Scholarship Scheme for Women in Computing from a pool of almost 200 applicants. Sara represented women in computing and technical fields in Ireland at the Finalists’ Retreat held in Google Europe HQ in Zurich.

Sara has been researching the area of Sign Language Translation. Her work involves developing computer programs to facilitate communication between deaf and hearing communities. She has worked on automatically translating sign languages into English text and text into sign languages where a computer generated figure will sign the information on the screen. The aim of this work is to provide the deaf community with information in their first and preferred language - Irish Sign Language. Such a system could be used to translate announcements in airports or content on webpages, for example.

Sara said ‘The excellent facilities at DCU combined with the support and guidance of her colleagues in the Machine Translation research group in the School of Computing has allowed the forging of links with other Irish and international institutions as well as industry.’

The award itself commemorates the work of Dr. Anita Borg (1949 - 2003) whose vision for the advancement of technology and her founding of the Institute for Women and Technology led her to become an excellent role model for young women in the field of computing today. This award is open to women in computing across Europe who are dedicated to full-time work in the area of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Informatics or a similarly related field through an MSc or PhD.