Time to Celebrate Ada!

This day is the second annual Ada Lovelace Day! For those of you who don’t know, Ada was the first person to write a computer program, for a certain machine called the Analytical Engine. Although the machine that she wrote the programs for was a basic one, this marks an important moment in the history of computer science and technology, as well as for women in this field.

Personally, I think this is amazing. I can’t even believe that someone wrote a computer program back that long ago. She was born in 1815, a time that I would have considered to be “in the dark ages” of technology. She referred to the possibilities of computers as “elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity.” I think this statement perfectly reveals what I have suspected all along: computer science is an art and can be likened to painting or composing. It takes a similar vision to start with small strokes and come out with something so much larger, a more complete picture.

Today, everyone is encouraged to do anything they can to celebrate and mention Ada Lovelace. This includes bloggers and twitter-ers, as they spread the word. People around the world are encouraged to write whatever they can, from wherever they can, in  any language! The goal for number of blogs mentioning her is listed as 3072, chosen because that is a regular length for an 8-bit encryption key in computer-speak.  And this isn’t just a celebration for women- it’s a celebration of a step that took Ada’s world closer to ours.

-Abby Vanim

~ by avanim on March 24, 2010.

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