Today is Ada Lovelace Day, the international celebration of achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and math. There’s a huge, interactive database of events to attend.
British activist and journalist Suw Charman-Anderson founded Ada Lovelace Day in 2009. Her official site hosts an interactive database of 2016 events and activities. You can view them as a calendar, a list, a map, or photos. You can narrow events to your local area, and export them to an ICS file to load onto your personal calendar.
In Hackbright’s San Francisco / Silicon Valley neighborhood, there are three events worth checking out:
- Oct 11, Tuesday, 6:30-9:00 pm
- Oct 12, Wednesday, 5:30-8:00 pm
- Now through December 12
- The Computer History Museum’s exhibit Thinking Big: Ada, Countess of Lovelace features historical documents from Ada’s childhood, correspondence with her tutors including Charles Babbage, and paintings and photographs from her life. Admission is $15.
Charman-Anderson says the goal of Ada Lovelace Day is to “increase the profile of women in STEM and, in doing so, create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM.”
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,” Lockwood 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.”
She chose Ada as her archetypical role model. In 1842 the Countess of Lovelace wrote down what is believed to be the first known algorithm meant for a machine, her friend Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine. A working Difference Engine wasn’t built until 1991, as a museum piece. But the Countess’ pseudo-code has inspired engineers from the start.
Hackbright Academy is eager to promote Ada Lovelace Day, as we work to help women software engineers become just such “inspirational examples of success” by raising awareness, access, and the size of the candidate pool.
If you know of an event not listed on the site, you can create an account and add it yourself.
Any questions or problems? We love puzzles! Please do email me and we’ll help you participate in the day with us.
Inspired to become a programmer? You can become a software engineer in 3 months at Hackbright Academy, the leading engineering school for women in San Francisco. Learn more about our program at our upcoming Info Session on October 12th in person or via livestream.