Ada Lovelace Day - 9 Oct

Published in the Research School of Physics Event Horizon
Vol43 Issue90 8–12 October 2018

Ada Lovelace Day - 9 October 2018

Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration of the achievements of women in STEM which is held on the second Tuesday of October every year. It was started in 2009 by Suw Charman-Anderson as a day of blogging about women in tech and rapidly developed into a broader celebration of women in STEM, the definition of which people interpret in their own way.

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace — known now simply as Ada Lovelace — was the first person to publish, in 1843, what we would now call a computer program. Lovelace’s program described how Bernoulli numbers might be calculated on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, a mechanical computer which he designed but never built. Lovelace also realised that the Analytical Engine could do more than just calculate numbers. It was also capable, she reasoned, of creating music and art, given the right data and algorithms. It would be another century before such computers were developed.

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