Today is Ada Lovelace Day, honouring women in technology. From the website:
Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology.
Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines. Entrepreneurs, innovators, sysadmins, programmers, designers, games developers, hardware experts, tech journalists, tech consultants. The list of tech-related careers is endless.
Recent research by psychologist Penelope Lockwood discovered that women need to see female role models more than men need to see male ones. That’s a relatively simple problem to begin to address. If women need female role models, let’s come together to highlight the women in technology that we look up to. Let’s create new role models and make sure that whenever the question “Who are the leading women in tech?” is asked, that we all have a list of candidates on the tips of our tongues.
I am aware of two Slaw contributors so far who have taken part:
Ada Lovelace Day – Cynthia Beuselinck – by Shaunna Mireau
Ada Lovelace Day 2009: Dr. Margaret Ann Wilkinson – by Connie Crosby
Great minds think alike! Shaunna and I have both written about people have had personal influence in our lives, who do not usually appear in the blogosphere (or blawgosphere).
To see who else has been blogged about, see The Ada Lovelace Day Collection, including lists and a mash-up map of blogger locations. By end of day their should be well over 1,000 contributions worldwide.
Who Was Ada Lovelace?
From the Wikipedia entry:
She is mainly known for having written a description of Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the analytical engine. She is today appreciated as the "first programmer" since she was writing programs—that is, manipulating symbols according to rules—for a machine that Babbage had not yet built. She also foresaw the capability of computers to go beyond mere calculating or number-crunching while others, including Babbage himself, focused only on these capabilities.
Ada Lovelace also happens to be the only child of the poet Lord Byron and his wife Anne Isabella Milbanke:
Her obsession with rooting out any of the insanity of which she accused Lord Byron was one of the reasons that her mother taught Lovelace mathematics at an early age. Lovelace was privately home schooled in mathematics and science by William Frend, William King and Mary Somerville. One of her later tutors was Augustus De Morgan.