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Women in Science

Marta studied computer science in Poland, did a PhD at Leicester and, after a lectureship in Leicester, moved to Birmingham where she became a professor. She moved to a statutory professorship at Oxford 10 years ago and will become Deputy Head of Research in April 2017.

Marta Kwiatkowska

BACKGROUND

at the time of the interview - 2017

Marta is a Professor in Computing Systems, Department of Computer Science and she specialises in modelling and analysis methods for complex systems.

EXTENDED BIOGRAPHY

at the time of the interview -  2016

Marta studied computer science in Poland and then did her PhD in Leicester having learned English as a junior academic in Krakow. She was appointed to a lectureship at Leicester, where she met her husband, then moved to the University of Birmingham where she was promoted to professorship. Ten years ago, she moved to a statutory professorship at Oxford and she is about to become the Deputy Head of Research in the Department of Computer Science.

Marta studied computer science in Poland, did a PhD at Leicester and, after a lectureship in Leicester, moved to Birmingham where she became a professor. She moved to a statutory professorship at Oxford 10 years ago and will become Deputy Head of Research in April 2017.

Marta’s father was an engineer and her mother worked as an accountant. Marta always liked physics and maths at school and thinks she probably would have studied physics if she hadn’t found out about computer science, or informatics, at a maths camp. She describes how she always liked the precision, the clarity and knowing the answer.

Marta encourages collaborative work across disciplines and finds this very enriching. She has been the first female professor in her field at Birmingham and Oxford because it is a young field. She found a contrast with the experiences of her male colleagues when she had her baby because she was the only female academic in the department at that time. She also thinks that women have to work harder to get the same opportunities as men.

In terms of a work life balance, Marta finds her work so exciting that it fills up her time and she will typically work weekends and sometimes evenings. She thinks that computer science has broad implications, for example, revolutionising healthcare through robotics, and there are a range of opportunities within the discipline. She is particularly proud of a software tool, PRISM, which she and her PhD students developed in 2000. Ethnic background: Polish.