Ada Lovelace and her legacy

Who was Ada Lovelace?

"Imagination is the Discovering Faculty, pre-eminently. It is that which penetrates into the unseen worlds around us, the worlds of Science." - Ada Lovelace

Countess Ada Lovelace (Dec 10 1815 - Nov 17 1852) was a British mathematician. She is regarded as the first computer programmer in history!

She is known for her work on Babbage's Analytical Engine (a mechanical general-purpose computer) as she was the first to recognise the machine's applications beyond calculations. She published the first algorithm intended to be carried out by such a machine.

Ada Lovelace Day

Come celebrate with us!

"The more I study, the more insatiable do I feel my genius for it to be." - Ada Lovelace

The Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration of women's achievements in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

We are inviting female and non-binary 15-to-18-year-old students interested in Science and Technology, as well as, all Undergraduate and Postgraduate students from Computer Science and Engineering. Join us for an exciting day with amazing industry and academia speakers, and a fun treasure hunt through the school, where you will be able to interact with projects developed here.

Pro-VC for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Professor Sarah Sharples

Professor Sarah Sharples is a Professor of Human Factors in the Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering and the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Her areas of expertise are HCI, cognitive ergonomics and development of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies for examination of interaction with innovative technologies in complex systems.

Industry Speaker

Sarah Dattani

Sarah Dattani is a Director of Software Engineering at Capital One, managing a department of 50+ in the heart of London. She has degrees in Computer Science and Telecommunication Engineering. She has been working in tech roles in many different companies over the last twenty years, from startups to huge corporations, and across a wide range of industries, from computer games and advertising to finance.


Caroline Bromley

Caroline is the Head of Information Security Consultants at Experian. Since 2016, she leads a team of 25 specialist Information Security Consultants providing security assurance and consultancy services to the business. After studying French and German at The University of Nottingham, Caroline started her career in Security Administration at Experian, where she quickly found a passion for technology and security.


Narjit Najran

Narjit graduated with a BSc in Computer Science and Chemistry from the University of Leeds.
Her technical career has included working for the likes of Accenture, London Clearing House, Credit Suisse and BP.
She joined in 2016 and, since then she has made the change from writing code for DevOps to become a Business Analyst and now a Product Owner.
Who knows what role might be next!

Time Session Speaker Venue
9:00 - 9:30 Registration and Coffee/Tea/Biscuits - Atrium, Business South
9:30 - 10:00 Welcome to
the Ada Lovelace Day
Carolina Fuentes
Mercedes Torres Torres
A25, Business South
10:00 - 10:30 Academic Talk Professor Sarah Sharples A25, Business South
10:30 - 12:30 Scavenger Hunt
and Programming Competition!
- School of Computer Science
12:30 - 13:30 Hot buffet lunch and networking - Atrium, Business South
13:30 - 14:30 Panel and Q&A TBD A25, Business South
14:30 - 15:00 Industry Talk Sarah Dattani, Capital One A25, Business South,
15:00 - 15:15 Final Remarks and
Prizes and cake!
Carolina Fuentes
Mercedes Torres Torres
A25, Business South
Celebrating women in science

Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852)

Augusta Ada Lovelace was an English mathematician, daughter of Lord and Lady Byron. She worked on Babbage's Analytical Engine and translated from Italian Menabrea's work on it, adding copious notes. They contain the first algorithm designed to be carried out by a machine: the first program! Unlike her peers (even Babbage) she saw computers' capabilities going beyond calculations. She also considered how individuals or society would relate to technology as a collaborative tool in her work.

Celebrating women in science

Hypatia (350 or 370 - 415)

Hypatia was a Hellenistic philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician who lived in Alexandria (Egypt), then part of the Eastern Roman Empire. A prominent thinker of the Neoplatonic school in Alexandria, she taught philosophy and astronomy. She was renowned as a great teacher and a wise counselor and is the first female mathematician whose life is reasonably recorded. It is thought that she may have co-written some commentaries attributed to her father, Theon of Alexandria.

Celebrating women in science

Katherine Johnson (1918 - present)

Katherine Johnson is an American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. manned spaceflights. Her work includes calculating trajectories, launch windows and emergency return paths for Project Mercury. In 2015, President Barack Obama awarded Johnson the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Celebrating women in science

Maryam Mirzakhani (1977 – 2017)

Iranian mathematician and professor of mathematics at Stanford. In 2014, Maryam was honored with the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in Mathematics, for "her outstanding contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces". She is the first woman and the first Iranian to be win the award. Her research topics included Teichmüller theory, ergodic theory, and symplectic geometry.

Celebrating women in science

Annie Easley (1933 – 2011)

Annie was an American computer scientist, mathematician, and rocket scientist. She was a leading member of the team which developed software for the Centaur rocket stage and one of the first African-Americans to work as a computer scientist at NASA. Her work in the Centaur project helped as technological foundations for the space shuttle launches and launches of communication, military and weather satellites. She contributed to the 1997 flight to Saturn of the Cassini probe.

Celebrating women in science

Mary Kenneth Keller (1913 – 1985)

An American Catholic nun, educator and pioneer. She was the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in computer science. Her thesis was titled "Inductive Inference on Computer Generated Patterns", and it was written in CDC FORTRAN 63. She also co-developed the laguage BASIC. She founded the Computer Science department at Clarke College (Iowa), which she directed for 20 years. She was a supporter of using computers to aid learning, which was a controversial idea at the time!

Celebrating women in science

Chien-Shiung Wu (1912 – 1997)

A Chinese-American experimental physicist who made significant contributions in nuclear physics. Known as "THe Queen of Nuclear Research", she conducted the Wu experiment, which contradicted the hypothetical law of conservation of parity. The experiment earned her colleagues Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen-Ning Yang the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physics. Chien-Shiung Wu’s role in the discovery was not publicly honored until 1978, when she was awarded the first Wolf Prize.

Celebrating women in science

Melba Roy Mouton (1929-1990)

An American mathematician who served as Assistant Chief of Research Programs at NASA's Trajectory and Geodynamics Division in the 60s. She previously worked for the Army Map Service and the Census Bureau. She was head mathematician for Echo Satellites 1 and 2, and worked up to being Head Computer Programmer and then Program Production Section Chief at Goddard Space Flight Center. At NASA, she received an Apollo Achievement Award and an Exceptional Performance Award.

Celebrating women in science

And Many More!

Grete Hermann, Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu, Alice Ball, Rosalind Franklin, Gertrude Blanch, Alice Perry, Henrietta Swan Leavitt, Irma Wyman, Katheleen Booth, Kathleen McNulty, Jane Goodall, Grace Hopper, Mary Cartwright, Nettie Maria Stevens, Ida Rodes, Evelyn Boyd Granville, Barbara McClintock, Adele Goldberg, Thelma Estrin, Marie Curie, Tikvah Alper, Caroline Herschel, Mary Anning, Lise Meitner, Eliza Burt Gamble, ...


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