Ada Lovelace Day
Ada Lovelace , daughter of Lord Byron, is considered to be the first computer programmer, albeit not without some controversy around that moniker; because Babbage’s ego was too big to allow her credit, or perhaps more precisely too big to allow a woman to share credit . She is, however, the first person to write an algorithm to be carried out by a computer – in this case Charles Babbage’s analog general purpose Analytical Engine. Oh, and by the way, this was in the early part of the 1800’s.
Her mathematical prowess enabled her to annotate a transcript of Babbage’s seminar at the University of Turin, annotations that were vastly longer than the transcript itself. The notes, categorized A-G, were published along with the transcript. Note G in specific is known for being the first algorithm to be written specifically for a computer to carry out.
She died at the age of 36 of uterine cancer, a diagnosis which today can often be cured. In 1852 however, it was a painful, terminal disease.
October 11 is Ada Lovelace day – a day dedicated to women in Science and Technology with the stated purpose of increasing awareness of the contributions of women to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathmatics) sciences and promote the hard sciences to young women considering their future.
ALD as it’s abbreviated, is based in the UK, but the mission and belief system should be universal. Why wouldn’t you want to invest in young women making a difference in hard sciences?