The Guardian – Michael Weir
My mother, Sylvia Weir, who has died aged 93, was an accomplished researcher in artificial intelligence and education, a physician and an activist. She felt strongly about equality of opportunity and throughout her life strove to further this ideal.
Sylvia was born in Benoni, South Africa, to Lithuanian Jewish parents, Rachel (nee Smith) and Abraham Leiman, who ran a clothing shop in the town, and she went to Benoni high school.
When she entered the medical school at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg in the mid-1940s, she was one of six women among several hundred men. While working toward her dual MB BCh degree, Sylvia joined marches and meetings protesting about apartheid. This made it prudent for her to move after completing her studies in 1950.