15 January 2009

Ada Lovelace Day

As a woman at a technology institute that has a pretty bad track record of supporting women in the sciences and technology, I've become acutely aware of some of the difficulties many women face entering into male-dominated technical fields. No, I am not one of those women (although my childhood best friend, now a programmer, is -- I knew when we started our own 'net business together way back in the wild wild days of the web that she was destined for techie-geek greatness). But I am a feminist with some deep love for Ada Lovelace; so I'm happy to be participating in Ada Lovelace Day.

Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, wrote a calculating program for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine that could calculate Bernoulli numbers. Babbage was impressed with her knowledge, calling her "Enchantress of Numbers," and she become known to some as the world's first computer programmer.

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