Today is Ada Lovelace Day
Tuesday 15th October is Ada Lovelace Day. Ada Lovelace Day celebrates the achievements of Ada Lovelace – the first computer programmer – as well as the achievements of women across science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). It aims to provide inspiring role models and motivate the next generation of women to get involved in STEM subjects.
Ada Lovelace is credited with creating the first computer program – well before the computer was invented. The Metro quoted Suw Charman-Anderson, social technologist and founder of Ada Lovelace Day, saying:
She was the first computer programmer and also really the first person to understand what a computer could do – and this was at a time when there weren’t any computers.
She wrote what is essentially a computer program. She wrote a description of how the machine could be programmed using punched cards to calculate Bernoulli numbers, a complex series of numbers.
She broke the process for calculating the numbers down into small formulae and then she described how you would code those formulae into punched cards, so it could be worked out by the machine.
She understood that the Analytical Engine could actually be used given the right algorithms to create music or to create art. That was a massive leap because, at the time, Babbage was mainly thinking about big tables of numbers.
The UK Safer Internet Centre is currently running a Positive Content Competition which encourages the creation of new content that will offer young people online opportunities to learn, play, discover and invent. This is very much in the spirit of Ada Lovelace Day and the UKSIC is eager to hear from any innovators about any websites, blogs, games, apps, education content, videos and other multi-media content designed for use by children or young people. There is also a category for young people who are creating great online content!