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  • Writer's pictureRhona McCracken

Welcome to the Joan Clarke Podcast!

Welcome to our new podcast all about women in Computer Science. We are aiming to celebrate the women studying and working in the Computer Science department in the University of St Andrews and to start discussions about diversity in the tech industry.

Keep an eye on our website, Spotify and Instagram (@joanclarkepod) for more updates on new episodes and guest spotlights!

Our first episode introduced our namesake Joan Clarke - the incredible female cryptanalyst who worked alongside Alan Turing at Bletchley Park.

Joan Clarke was a mathematician and cryptanalyst who worked alongside Alan Turing to break the German Enigma codes at Bletchley Park during WWII. Joan Clarke studied Mathematics at Newnham College, Cambridge and achieved a double first, becoming a wrangler in 1939. Despite her achievements, she was never awarded a full degree since Cambridge did not grant degrees to women until 1948 [1]. She was awarded the Philippa Fawcett Prize and the Helen Gladstone Scholarship for her mathematical achievements [2].

One of her supervisors at Cambridge recognised her talent for mathematics and recruited her to join the 'Government Code and Cypher School' at Bletchley Park. Here she worked alongside Alan Turing, an incredible mathematician and one of the first Computer Scientists, who she became life-long friends with and was briefly engaged to.

We were delighted to invite two students in Computer Science to join us this week: Katy and Anna. They shared their experiences from deciding to study Computer Science in high school to their thoughts on this field after 4 years of a University degree. The advice they shared to their younger selves left a positive message for any aspiring Computer Science student.

Image: 4th year Computer Science students: Anna (left), Katy (right)

Listen to our first episode now on Spotify!

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