USA - 2007
Dr. Spärck Jones videotaped her Athena Lecture shortly before her untimely death in April 2007, and this was shown at the 30th Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference, July 2007.
United Kingdom - 2006
For seminal contributions to the field of information retrieval, for cross-disciplinary contributions bridging information retrieval and computational linguistics, and for her role in facilitating international cooperation in the field of computational linguistics.
Karen Spärck Jones made fundamental contributions to the field of information retrieval; the results of her work are widely used today both in research and commercially. In addition to information retrieval, her research touched on question answering for databases, classification, and summarization. She is most well known for:
Anyone who heard Dr. Spärck Jones' comments in discussion forums knows that her ability to identify the crux of the matter, coupled with sharp wit, made her someone who commanded attention. Her verbal ability was indeed a factor in her leadership role in bridging communities, both geographical and interdisciplinary. As President of the Association for Computational Linguistics and in the years following, Dr. Spärck Jones was instrumental in establishing the organization as one that is truly international.