Today is being celebrated as Ada Lovelace Day, a event which aims to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. In the UK, the National Museum of Computing presents a new look at the story of Ada Lovelace.
Ada Lovelace was chosen to be the symbol of this effort to inspire women to emulate female role models but the choice of date, October 7th, isn't related to any events in Ada's life and the first Ada Lovelace Day was held on March 24th 2009.
The Finding Ada website, responsible for promoting Ada Lovelace Day and co-ordinating worldwide events to mark the occasion, explains the need for this initiative:
The inspiration for Ada Lovelace Day came from psychologist Penelope Lockwood, who carried out a study which found that women need to see female role models more than men need to see male role models. "Outstanding women can function as inspirational examples of success," she said, "illustrating the kinds of achievements that are possible for women around them. They demonstrate that it is possible to overcome traditional gender barriers, indicating to other women that high levels of success are indeed attainable."
One of this year's events in the UK does have Ada Lovelace as the focus of attention. The National Museum of Computing, which is located at Bletchley Park, has arranged a screening of To Dream Tomorrow , a documentary film telling the story of Ada Byron Lovelace, her work with Charles Babbage, and their contributions to computing over a hundred years before the time usually thought to be the start of the Computer Age.
Details of the To Dream Tomorrow event on October 8:
More about the film on Flare Productions
Ada Lovelace, the first programmer
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