Pioneering computer scientist Kathleen Booth, who built one of her ground-breaking machines in Welwyn Garden City, has died aged 100.

Born Kathleen Britten in Stourbridge, Worcestershire, on July 9, 1922, she obtained a BSc in mathematics from the University of London in 1944 and went on to earn a PhD in applied mathematics in 1950, the same year she married her colleague, Andrew Booth.

From 1942 to 1962 she worked at the University of London’s Birkbeck College as part of a small computer science group that developed three revolutionary machines, the ARC, SEC and APE(X)C.

The ARC, or Automatic Relay Computer, was among the earliest digital computers and was built in 1946 in Welwyn Garden City, close to the headquarters of Birkbeck's Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, established by Kathleen and her husband.

Andrew would often build the machines, while his wife programmed them.

In 1957, Kathleen co-founded the School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Birkbeck College, before going on to become a professor at two Canadian universities, publishing her last paper in 1993.

Her husband Andrew passed away in 2009.

She died on September 29, 2022, at the age of 100, leaving behind a son and daughter.