Ada Lovelace was an English mathematician, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. In 1843, Ada published what we would now call a computer program. Whilst Babbage had written fragments of programs before, Ada’s was the most complete, most elaborate and the first published. Ada was the first person to see the creative potential of the Analytical Engine and that could not only calculate numbers, but with the right programming it could create music and art. Her vision of computing’s possibilities went unrecognised for a century.
Ada Lovelace Day aims to bring more women into STEM by encouraging people to shine a light on the women in STEM that they admire. Talking about women in these fields raises awareness about the amazing achievements of our often unsung heroines. Ada Lovelace Day hopes that women struggling to understand why their achievements are being downplayed by peers will take heart from the stories they see, and will fight even harder for the equality they deserve. We hope that young girls will see that that there are real opportunities for them in STEM, at school, at university, and at work. Women have a great future ahead of them in STEM and by taking part in Ada Lovelace Day and telling others about the amazing work done by women, we can all help ensure that future is as bright as it should be. Who are your favourite women in STEM? We’d love to hear about them!