Happy October 11th a.k.a Happy Ada Lovelace Day!
Ada Lovelace Day (ALD) is an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and increases the profile of women in STEM. In turn, it helps create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM.
So who is this woman?
Ada Lovelace was born in 1815 in England and was the daughter of Lady Byron and Lord Byron. It was her mother that helped peak her interest in mathematics and logic. She considered her approach as “poetical science” and described herself as an “Analyst and Metaphysician”. During her short life (she died from uterine cancer at age 36), she was in contact with many popular scientists of the day, including mathematician Sir Charles Babbage. Babbage is considered the “father of computers” and she was introduced to him as a teenager through her tutor. She took a particular interest in his work on the Analytical Engine.
Between 1842-1843, she translated an article by the Italian mechanical engineer, Luigi Menabrea about the Analytical Engine. She wrote extensive notes and what many considered to be the first computer program. This computer program would be considered an algorithm designed to be carried out by a machine. She actually wrote code to calculate the Bernoulli sequence of numbers. These numbers are a sequence of rational numbers which occur frequently in analysis. The extensive notes that Lovelace wrote are considered to be extremely important in the early history of computers. She also envisioned that a machine could go beyond number crunching and calculating. This led her to ask questions about how individuals and society relate to technology as a collaborative tool.
Lovelace believed that intuition and imagination were imperative to effectively applying mathematical and scientific concepts. She could see that a number could also represent anything from a musical note to letters, not just quantities. She valued metaphysics and mathematics, viewing both as tools for exploring "the unseen worlds around us".
Ada Lovelace inspired us and we turned that inspiration into the Lovelace Citrus Cleansing Balm. This balm is part of our popular Chemistry Set that was developed because of our love of women in the sciences. Ada Lovelace- we salute you!