Today is Ada Lovelace Day and events which aim to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths are taking place around the world.
Ada Lovelace was chosen to be the symbol of this effort to inspire women to emulate female role models but the choice of date isn't related to any events in Ada's life. The first Ada Lovelace Day was held on March 24th 2009 and since then October has been the choice.
The ideas behind the day presented in this video which appeals for funds:
The main events associated with this years Ada Lovelace Day are in the UK, where this idea originated. However, the Finding Ada website, which is responsible for its promotion also has details of initiatives in the USA, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Sweden, Slovenia and Italy.
An online event is also scheduled today from the KDE Community, an international technology team dedicated to creating a free and user-friendly computing experience. Its series of IRC tutorials by women members of the community start at 14:00 UTC.
One event caught my eye is a special Ada Lovelace Evening at the Government Art Collection on 16 October 2012, featuring the portrait of Ada Lovelace by Margaret Carpenter (1793-1872). This event is sold out but let's hope it is repeated in future years.
Another event today that focuses on Ada's life is being held at Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire, the home of Ada's father Lord Byron. Ada herself didn't live there, though she would have visited. Her parents separated after a year of marriage, following bitter quarrels and Ada was subsequently raised by her mother. By focusing her education on mathematics and the sciences her mother hoped to discourage her from following in Byron's footsteps as a poet!
To know more about how Ada Lovelace came to be the world's first programmer through her association with Charles Babbage and his Analytical Engine and how she was the person to foresee what impact such technology could have, read Ada Lovelace, The First Programmer, our contribution to today's celebration.