She is mainly known for having written a description of Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general-purpose computer, the analytical engine. She is today appreciated as the “first programmer” since she was writing programs–that is, manipulating symbols according to rules–for a machine that Babbage had not yet built. She also foresaw the capability of computers to go beyond mere calculating or number-crunching while others, including Babbage himself, focused only on these capabilities.
Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology – entrepreneurs, innovators, sysadmins, programmers, designers, games developers, hardware experts, tech journalists, tech consultants.
There are lots of women who are extraordinary in their fields. Here are just a few…
- Frances Allen, IBM Fellow Emerita, the first woman to win the Turing Award, the highest honor in computing (and a member of ABI’s Board of Trustees)
- Karen Banks, who pioneered the use of ICTs for the empowerment of women around the world, 2004 Anita Borg Social Impact Award
- Helen Greiner, whose iRobot products save lives and clean floors, 2008 Women of Vision Award for Innovation
- Susan Landau, whose work at Sun Microsystems on encryption, surveillance, and digital rights management has influenced both corporate and public policy, 2008 Women of Vision Award for Social Impact
- Duy-Loan T. Le, the first woman and first Asian to be named a Fellow at Texas Instruments, 2007 Women of Vision Award for Leadership, and whose inspiring acceptance speech has had thousands of viewings on YouTube
And on a Personal Level…
Lisa Linn – Web geek extraordinare and interface designer at SAS. I met Lisa through my wife Stephanie – they became friends through an online community of New Beetle enthusiasts. Lisa created an innovative website All Pods Go To Roswell – that documented the annual caravan trek to a New Beetle car show in Roswell, New Mexico by broadcasting the cross-country roadtrip live in real time, through streaming webcams attached to her Beetle. What a geek.
Melissa McEwan – Veteran blogger and champion of feminist ideals. She runs the online community blog Shakesville, where she is an intelligent, witty and insightful leader of an ever-growing social network that comments on current events, cultural norms and issues of gender and equality.