Are you familiar with the name Ada Lovelace? If you’re not, this is a name that is definitely worth knowing! If you are, you will know exactly why she deserves a day of her own!
Learn about Ada Lovelace Day
Ada Lovelace Day was created to celebrate one of the first computer programmers. As the daughter of the poet Lord Byron, Augusta Ada Byron, was brought up by her mother, Annabella after he passed.
Her mother feared that she would inherit her father’s poetic temperament, and gave Ada a strict upbringing of logic, science, and mathematics. Ada became fascinated with mechanisms and designed steam flying machines, poring over the scientific magazines of the time and embracing the British Industrial revolution.
In 1833, Ada Lovelace was introduced to Charles Babbage whom she helped to develop a device called The Analytical Engine; an early predecessor of the modern computer. Lovelace and Babbage worked together closely for many years in order to refine the Engine.
Ada found relative fame in 1842 when she expanded on an article by an Italian mathematician, in which she elaborated on the use of machines through the manipulation of symbols.
Although Babbage had sketched out programs before, Lovelace’s were the most elaborate and complete, and the first to be published; so she is often referred to as “the first computer programmer”.
Ada Lovelace died of cancer at the age of 36 a few short years after the publication of “Sketch of the Analytical Engine, with Notes from the Translator”. The Analytical Engine remained a vision for many but until Ada’s notes inspired Alan Turing to work on the first modern computers in the 1940s.
Her passion and vision for technology have made her a powerful symbol for women in the modern world of technology. That’s why we celebrate Ada Lovelace Day!
History of Ada Lovelace Day
Ada Lovelace Day is a worldwide celebration of the achievements that women have made in STEM industries, which stands for science, technology, engineering, and maths. The day is about increasing the profile of females in STEM. The hope is that by doing this we will help to create new role models for women all across the globe! This will help to encourage more females to take roles within STEM sectors.
The date was founded by Suw Charman-Anderson back in 2009. One of her reasons for creating this date is because she was concerned that females in the tech world were invisible. Instead of highlighting the problem, she decided that the best way to tackle this would be to highlight unseen women, shouting loud about all of the incredible things that these women have accomplished. It is not hard to see why Ada Lovelace was the obvious choice to kick things off!
How to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day
There are many different things that you can do to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day. The obvious place to start is by getting to know more about Ada Lovelace and her achievements. A lot of people would say that her biggest achievement was that she was the first person to see the Engine’s creative potential. She explained how the engine could do a lot more than just calculate numbers. She believed it could create art and music so long as it was given the correct inputs and programming.
You can also spend some time on Ada Lovelace Day learning about other women in this industry who have had a massive impact. We will give you some names to give you a helping hand with your research! How about the world’s first astronaut-neurologist and Canada’s first female astronaut? These titles go to Roberta Bondar. She was also been inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, as well as boasting more than 22 honorary degrees. Another woman who has made her mark on the STEM industries is Irene Au. She has built outstanding design teams for the likes of Yahoo and Google, yet her biggest accomplishment has to be the creation of her own program of study in the field of human-computer interaction.
Another woman that is definitely worth a mention on Ada Lovelace Day is Adriana Ocampo, the Science Program Manager at NASA Headquarters. A Columbian-born planetary geologist, she was worked on a number of the planetary science projects run by NASA. We’d also recommend delivering into the stories of statistician and social reformer Florence Nightingale, computer scientist and inventor Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, iconographer Susan Kare, Internet pioneer Radia Perlman, and NASA space scientist Katherine Johnson.