Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day

Posted by: Jennifer Cefai (3 years ago)

For the fifth year running the world is celebrating Ada Lovelace day, in recognition of the achievements made by women in science, technology, engineering and math. Apart from being known as the poet Lord Byron's only legitimate daughter, Lovelace is widely acknowledged as the world’s first-ever computer programmer, based on her contributions to the inventor Charles Babbage’s plans for what would have been the world’s first computer.

When Babbage was invited to the University of Turin to give a lecture on the Analytical Engine (the computer-like invention in question), he asked his friend Lovelace to translate the notes taken. Lovelace went much further than that. She expanded on the notes enough to come up with an algorithm for the Analytical Engine that would compute an established sequence of numbers.

Whilst the Analytical Engine never came to be, Lovelace’s contribution has been immortalized. The only reason why she does not hold the same sort of hold on the technological world that people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates do is because of her gender, which more or less disabled her at the time. With women all over the world – and not just the technological world – pushing for Ada Lovelace Day to be officially recognized through more than just a Google Doodle, there is hope for the male-dominated tech world to shift to a somewhat more balanced one.

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