Today is Ada Lovelace Day. For those who don’t know, Ada Countess Lovelace was the daughter of Lord Byron and a writer in her own right.
However, what was truly astonishing for the time was that she was also mathematically brilliant. So much so that in translating a mathematical text by Luigi Menabrea from Italian, she added several of her own notes, including how to encode the math so it could be processed by Charles Babbage’s analytical engine. She wrote the first computer algorithm and, as such, is the world’s first computer program.
Ada Lovelace Day is a day to celebrate women in STEM fields. This was inspired by research done by Penelope Lockwood of the University of Toronto that demonstrated that women need positive role models more than men because “women face negative stereotypes regarding their competence in the workplace”, stereotypes that men never have to deal with.
So today think on the wonderful women who changed science and our very lives, from Lovelace to Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, Sally Ride, Maria Agnesi, and so many others. One day maybe even my brilliant room mate.
Can you think of amazing women in science? Post in the comments and tell us what they did and why it was awesome!