Ada Lovelace day is Tuesday, October 16th. What are you doing to celebrate? This relatively new holiday began in 2009 with a call for pledges from people all over the world to write about women in STEM. The goal is to celebrate women in these fields to provide inspiration and role models to encourage more women to choose careers in STEM. It's easy to participate in the celebration: just publish a blog, make a video, record a podcast, or use any medium you like to share a story about a woman in STEM. This could be a historical or modern-day figure. You can read stories that people published for previous Ada Lovelace days at the interactive world map on the holiday's website.
Painting by Alfred Edward Chalon, 1840
So who is Ada Lovelace, and why do people celebrate her on this day? Ada Lovelace was the daughter of Lord Byron and Annabella Millbanke. Her mother had a strong interest in mathematics and encouraged her daughter to study it, providing her tutors to further her education despite long bouts of illness in her childhood. Ada had a strong female scientific role model herself in the form of Mary Somerville. Mary introduced her to Charles Babbage, who would become close to Ada and gave her the nickname "Enchantress of Numbers." Charles Babbage is famous for his idea for his Analytical Engine, which was never built but was a forerunner to the computer. Ada's work conceiving of possible uses for such a machine has led many to think of her as the first computer programmer. Ada died of cancer at 36, but left an important legacy. Her notes would later inspire Alan Turing's work on modern computing. For more information on Ada Lovelace, visit the holiday's website. If you are inspired by Ada's story as well, share how you plan on celebrating Ada Lovelace Day in the comments.