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07 May 2024

Nominations now open for BCS Lovelace Medal – Prof Tom Crick tells us what the award means to him

Each year the BCS Lovelace Medal for Education recognises people who have made exceptional contributions to computing education. If you know someone who has made a significant impact on computing education, why not nominate them for this year’s award? Nominations close on Monday 20th May and you or the person you’re nominating do not need to be BCS members. Further information is available below -

BCS Lovelace Medal  

To give you an idea of the prestige  receiving a Lovelace Medal for Education can have for someone, we’re sharing some insights from last year’s winner.   

With nominations now open for the 2024 BCS Lovelace Medal, last year’s winner, digital policy expert, Professor Tom Crick MBE told us about what the award means to him, and why computing education is even more vital in our digitally driven world.  

Prof Tom Crick MBE was awarded the BCS Lovelace Medal for Education in recognition of his contribution to computing education receiving his award at BCS’ London event which celebrated achievements in computing. 

Tom follows in the footsteps of former award-recipients inventor of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and information retrieval pioneer Karen Spärck Jones. 

Tom, Professor of Digital Education and Policy at Swansea University and a long-term friend of CAS. He is a former member of the CAS Board and was formerly Vice-President of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT from 2017-2020. 

The Lovelace Medal is an annual recognition from BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, for exceptional contributions to the progression of computing.  

Tom received the Lovelace Medal for Education for his contributions to computer science education across research, policy and practice. He is recognised internationally for leading the major STEM education and skills reforms in Wales, alongside wider leadership in UK digital, engineering and technology policy. 

Professor Tom Crick said:

“Being recognised by your peers is an absolute privilege and pleasure. This award also recognises that computing education is important societally, culturally and economically - not just within our broader IT and computing community, but I think across the whole of government, society and the world.  

“We live in a digital, data-driven and computational world, so everyone needs to understand this stuff which is an artefact of our life. We have to be digitally literate, data literate, media literate, computationally literate. We need to be AI literate.  

“These are hot topics today, and education is a key part of all of them. So, it's not just about people who are going to work in high tech jobs or going to work in the tech sector. This is a baseline competence for being a digital citizen." 

“Working in tech and computing is not just for geeky techie people like me. Computing is for everyone. Whatever you want to do, whatever you're doing now, whatever you want to do in the future, embrace it. There are opportunities and potential for everyone. So, go for it!  

“It has never been more important to assess critically the potential impact of computing and digital technologies across all areas of policy, from national infrastructure and the economy, health and wellbeing, to heritage and culture – with education and skills being the foundation.  

“That’s why I’m delighted and honoured to accept the BCS Lovelace Medal for Education. Now more than ever, we need to think about what it means to be a citizen in a digital, data-driven, computational and AI-enabled world. I’m hugely grateful to a diverse collection of colleagues, collaborators and mentors for helping make this wider work possible.” 

Tom was presented with the medal at the BCS Lovelace Medal event in London alongside fellow medal recipients, Demis Hassabis,co-founder and CEO of Google DeepMind and Jane Hillston is Professor of Quantitative Modelling University of Edinburgh. 

“Professor Crick has advanced the global reputation of computing as a force for good, working in teaching the next generation of computing leaders. Professor Crick has changed society for the better and helped increase our understanding of how the world works through information technology. We are incredibly proud to be able to honour him at a time when computing is being woven into every aspect of scientific research, industry and teaching.”

- Rashik Parmar MBE, Group Chief Executive of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

The BCS Lovelace Medal was established in 1998 in honour of Lady Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace and daughter of Lord Byron. Born in 1815, Ada Lovelace was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. The Lovelace Medal recognises people whose work in the areas of research and education have contributed to significant advances in computing. 

If you know someone who’s made exceptional contributions to the understanding and advancement of computing, or to computing education, why not nominate them for a Lovelace Medal in education or research?   

Further information is available below

BCS Lovelace Medal   

Closing date for nominations is Monday 20 May.