Today is Ada Lovelace Day, in honor of the world’s first computer programmer, born in 1815


Tuesday marks Ada Lovelace Day, nominated for celebrate the woman who is widely regarded as the world’s first computer programmer and the original BAMF for her work in the early 1800s.

The day honors the 24% of women working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the United States, with their fellow professionals and scholars from around the world. Comparable efforts, such as #iLookLikeAnEngineer social media campaign, strive to recognize and encourage the participation of women in science and related matters.

Born in 1815, Lovelace pioneered the 19th century equivalent of STEM during her 27 years. Ironically, the mathematical genius was the daughter of the romantic poet Lord Byron, his only legitimate child and the product of his brief and eventful marriage to mathematician Anne Isabella Milbanke.

In an attempt to counter the possibility of Lovelace inheriting Byron’s wild traits, Milbanke made sure her daughter was grounded in science rather than creative pursuits, by putting the child in a heavy math curriculum, Mashable reports.

Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

At 17, Lovelace meet mathematician and engineer Charles Babbage, after which the two embarked on a famous professional collaboration. Babbage was developing the Difference engine, a machine comparable to a primitive calculator. His invention gave way to the more sophisticated scan engine, and it was around this time that Babbage a Lovelace Translate a short Italian article on the machine, written by scientist Luigi Menabrea.

Lovelace converted the 20,000-word project, in which she created an algorithm equivalent to the world’s first computer program. The algorithm allowed a machine to calculate Bernoulli numbers.

Tuesday, #AdaLovelaceDay started trending on Twitter as people took to social media to hail the trailblazer.

“She could have been smart, but she was also manipulative and aggressive, a drug addict, a gambler and an adulterer,” Hannah Fry, BBC presenter and mathematician, wrote of Lovelace after making a documentary about her.

The controversial and unusual figure is nonetheless hailed as the mother of computer programming and a icon for women around the world working in STEM. “[Lovelace] truly embodies the struggles women still go through, ”said Suw Charman-Anderson, social software consultant, writer and founder of Ada Lovelace Day. Mashable.


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