Friday, October 7, 2011

Finding Ada Lovelace

Thanks to my Evil Twin for inspiring tonight's blog post! Today is Ada Lovelace day.

Ada Lovelace was the only "legitimate" child of Lord Byron (Have I mentioned I adore him? I can still recite several of his works by heart). She was also the first computer programmer. From the Finding Ada site:
Ada Lovelace is widely held to have been the first computer programmer. Close friends with inventor Charle Babbage, Lovelace was intrigued by his Analytical Engine and in 1842, she translated a description of it by italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea. Babbage asked her to expand the article, "as she understood [it] so well", and this was when she wrote several early 'computer programs'. 

Quoth the holy wiki:
In 1953, over one hundred years after her death, Lady Lovelace's notes on Babbage's Analytical Engine were republished. The engine has now been recognized as an early model for a computer and Lady Lovelace's notes as a description of a computer and software.

Science and tech fields have often been seen as the province of men. Ada Lovelace day was created to recognize the contribution of Women to these fields. My nominee for the year is...

Kara Cooney. Yeah, she's famous, but so what? I don't think it's against the rules to laud someone who is famous. She is an Egyptologist, a professor, a PhD, and has done some wonderful, well balanced work on ancient religions in her Out of Egypt series. She speaks of The Gods (of all religions) and their adherents as current practices, not past practices. I find that incredibly refreshing. Also, She's half Italian- Her Mother's family is from Abruzzi and Naples ;)

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