Today (Tuesday 12 October 2021) is Ada Lovelace Day – a celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
Launched in 2009, Ada Lovelace Day is now held every year on the second Tuesday of October and features the flagship Ada Lovelace Day Live! ‘science cabaret’ in London, UK, at which women in STEM give short talks about their work or research in an informal, theatre-like setting.
Once again Ada Lovelace Day 2021 will be held online with a day of blogging, Twittering and Facebooking. You can take part by sharing with the #ALD21 hashtag.
This year there are three flagship events taking place.
- Engineering – Solving Problems for Real People, 13:00 NZST, 12 Oct
- Fusing Tech & Art in Games, 13:00 BST, 12 Oct
- The Science of Hypersleep, 19:00 BST, 12 Oct
Alongside a number of other events. Visit findingada.com for more information and the full list of 2021 events.
6 Facts That You Might Not Know About Ada Lovelace
1. Ada Lovelace was the daughter of Romantic poet Lord Byron (although she never knew him)
2. Lovelace excelled in science and mathematics from an early age. Thanks to her mother, Lovelace had the opportunity to study math and science, subjects not open to most girls and women. Her mother believed that engaging in rigorous studies would prevent Lovelace from developing her father’s unpredictable temperament.
3. As a child, Lovelace was forced to lie still for extended periods of time because her mother believed it would help her develop self-control. Lady Byron wished to suppress her daughter’s imagination, which she thought to be “dangerous and potentially destructive and coming from the Byrons.”
4. In 1843, Lovelace published her greatest contribution to computer science, the translation and appended notes of Babbage’s lecture about his Analytical Engine, a proposed general-purpose computer. Her added notes are now recognized as the first algorithm.
5. Her contributions to the field of computer science were not widely recognised until the 1950s when B.V. Bowden republished her notes in Faster Than Thought: A Symposium on Digital Computing Machines in 1953.
6. She died tragically young, aged 36, from what is now suspected to be uterine cancer. Her notes on the Analytical Engine would inspire many people after her death, most notably Alan Turing who used them to create the Turing Machine during the 1940s.