The enlightened minds of mathematicians, cryptographers, engineers, physicists, inventors and others have shaped the computer and the Internet into what we know today. Some of them also caught a glimpse of the future and envisioned the technology we are using now or are about to see.Â Keeping an eye on the visionaries helps us prepare for the future.Â
Thereâ€™s a good reason these days to think of the many women who contribute to scientific and technological advances. The tech world celebrates female geeks everywhere mid-October, with a day named after Ada Lovelace, Lord Byronâ€™s daughter, who is considered by many the first programmer who ever lived.
Ada Lovelace (Wikimedia Commons)
Ada Lovelace Day, which falls this year on October 14, celebrates the achievements of women in science, tech, engineering and math, the so-called STEM. Various institutions and organizations around the globe honor those who prove through their work that women can be just as influential as men in science and technology.
Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, born Augusta Ada Byron, lived in the 1800s and was known for her mathematical prowess. Although the first modern computers would only be invented in the 1940s, the countess, known today as Ada Lovelace, did write what many consider a computer program for her friend Charles Babbageâ€™sÂ Analytical Engine
Babbage was never able to actually complete construction of the machine, which was basically a mechanical computer designed to solve math problems. However, his project was well known, and Ada Lovelace wrote extensive notes on the engine, which included a method â€” or, as some would call it today, a program â€” to calculate Bernoulli numbers using the machine.
Ada Lovelace Day was launched in 2009. You can read about women in STEM that people admire on FindingAda.com.
Who are the women in science, tech, engineering or math that you admire the most?