Ada Lovelace Day has already begun in the island nation of Kiribati! One of the curious things about a ‘day’ is that due to various dateline shenanigans it’s Ada Lovelace Day somewhere around the world for a grand 50 hours. This means that you have plenty of time to get your tribute to a woman in science, technology, engineering or maths and add it to our collection.
If you don’t have your own blog or website, please do feel free to use the comments on this post as a place to add your tribute.
Let the celebrations begin!
I was in my early thirties when I got serious about learning about computers and electronics. One major inspiration for me is Carla Schroder (see O’Reilly page and http://tuxcomputing.com/). She didn’t start learning about computers until she was older too. Now she is a respected community member and author who contributes to the world of technology. And she has a great sense of humor. I suppose you could say I want to be like her if I ever grow up.
Mrs. Dovi, computer science teacher at Patrick Henry High School in Ashland, VA.
Mrs. Dovi encouraged my love of all things computing by creating a space for me to play.
She positioned myself and another fellow student in the corner of the computer lab, where we worked on crafting a graphical text editor (in DOS) without the assistance of a user interface toolkit (no small feat at the time!). Needless to say, we did not get very far, and our work never made it anywhere beyond the computer lab. However, talking about that work landed me my first internship in college, and from there my career as a full time software developer has never stopped.
Along the way, Mrs. Dovi made a point to encourage me to look at other less exciting skills, such as writing. She helped me write a scientific paper that I submitted to a high school science conference, and she helped me pen my college entrance essay. I found her edits brutal and frustrating. I doubted that writing English would ever be as important as writing computer programs. Man was I ever wrong. The writing foundation and courage, born from that grueling editing process, has been with me ever since. I credit that with why I have several people along the years tell me that I’m a “good” writer. That’s something I would never have been accused of before college. But Mrs. Dovi’s influence was not just academic.
Most importantly, Mrs. Dovi taught me that women have an important place in the IT industry. The female analytical approach appears to be very different that how I approach problems. I value this different approach. I hope that in the future, I get to see more and more talented women enter the world of math and science. The world will be a better place when women are represented fairly inside the cubicle farms that dot the IT landscape.
Thank you Mrs. Dovi. You really inspired me. I hope that, one day, I can pass along the valuable lessons that you gave me to another promising young computer scientist.
Here’s my blogpost about two great science teachers, who inspired me to follow my inner nerd and become a science communicator: http://nbarrie.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/ada-lovelace-day-hooray-for-women-in-science/
This is probably a cliche by now, but I have to add my mother to this. A high-school English teacher, who changed careers because of the violence of her students, my mother has carried on despite having her dreams ripped out from under her more times than any person should have to endure. A beautiful woman, homecoming queen, cheerleader and model, my mother was determined to get her education in an era where women were expected to simply marry and give everything to care for their husband and children. It’s a darn good thing that she did get a solid education, too. She did marry the star halfback, who was even recruited by the Chicago Bears. However, while in spring training, a “fellow teammate” rammed him in the back with his helmet, taking him out of the game for good. The vaulted league gave him *nothing*, causing them to lose their home and have to move across the country to start all over. Again, good thing my mother has an education as well, yes? Now, they managed eventually, but as I mentioned, my mother ended up having to find a new career due to a student who felt the need to hold a knife to her throat. They had a son, and then, to her devastation, she lost her second son two days after birth, and was told that another child would kill her. After (sort of) recovering from their grief, they adopted my twin sister and I, thinking that they were bringing home two healthy babies. My mother, thinking it was safe, did the sweet thing, and decided to be a stay at home mother. A year and a half later, her husband died during a jog, leaving her without the love of her life and her provider *or* a job, but with a teenage boy, two baby girls, and a mortgage to deal with. Somehow, she got through. As it turns out, those baby girls were both physically and mentally ill, causing enormous strife until we finally simply left. This, she again had to deal with all on her own. She never re-married. I’m 31, and she’s still helping my sad self get through. She’s lost her dreams, her husband, her child, her parents… She’s dealt with so much strife and pain in her life, and she’s still trucking. Usually with a smile on her face. We don’t always see eye to eye, but I have to admire that.
I met up today in Paris (France) before returning home to San Antonio (Texas) an old college friend, Sarah Towle, who is developing the first interactive StoryApp itineraries to some of the world’s most visited tourist destinations through hand-held devices. These are interactive iPhone and iPod Touch Tours (iPad compatible) “for Teens, Tweens and the Young at Heart.”. She calls her enterprise the Time Traveller Tours and brands it with the slogan, “History in the Palm of your Hand”. See her website @ http://www.timetravellertours.com and don’t miss her active blog where she’ serving as an avid activist for the story, the app and all things new in new media terminology, techniques and technology.
Speaking of blogs, visit also thebeautyandthegeeks.blogspot.com where Di Ball (whose birthday it is today or tomorrow) talks about how she “used to be the oldest geek grrl in the world but [she] lost [her] geek and now [she’s] just the oldest grrl in the world” so she’s trying to get her geek back and that’s what the blog is all about!
On this Finding ADA day I must add my daughter ADA! She is a 3rd year student at McGill University where she also works in a Cancer Research Lab! I am very proud of her! I also have to add my mother IYA ROTT who is a retired Engineering Professor. She studied engineering when there were only 3 women in a class of 250, and she started teaching in Siberia Russia and later at the University of Toronto. I also want to add my Grandmother RACHEL GUTTERMAN who was a Psychology Professor in Moscow and in Ulan Ude, Siberia. Last but not least, I want to add my daughter SERENA who is graduating from highschool and can choose any direction she wants because she is talented in maths and sciences, languages, writing, film and music! Myself am a User Experience and Usability Consultant and Educator teaching Computer Science and Usability at University of Toronto, OCADU, and Canadian Film Centre as well as in industry! Happy Finding ADA day everyone. I’ll go to find my daughter Ada now to tell her about it! 🙂 THANK YOU at Ada Lovelace Day for all your great work making the achievements of women everywhere more visible!
Here is my blog
How can I find the other blogs?
I visited my daughter’s office in Edinburgh University today for the first time. It’s in the old Medical School and, amongst the historical artefacts and anatomical memorabilia on display are some older pictures and photographs. What caught my eye was a photograph from 1911 of the medical graduates which numbered, for the very first time, 4 women in the front row amidst the mass of male graduates. Those women are named elsewhere in the building so I cannot identify them here but this is an excellent day on which to honour their achievement.
One of my inspirations is a former colleague, boss and now a business partner, Susie Mathews. Susie is the chief developer for DDP, the major subscriber management system in the cable industry. It spawned DDP/SQL and Intellicable which are major cable/telephony systems two decades later, providing services to many of the major telecommunications in the world (including a Computerworld Honors Award). In addition to development positions, she held a number of executive positions at US Computer Services including Chairman.
After her corporate work, she has continued developing application software in veterinary and human medicine including VetFM. One of the inspiring things about Susie is her generosity . . . including millions to cancer research. She also donates time as a board member and advisor to a number of startup companies including Whitefence and WorldSync.
I’d like to honor Van Tran and Maria Magante as my math instuctors over the last year.
I am a returning student to University and my confidence with math was diminished after not having a math class in over 20 years. Both instructors taught me in a way that I could understand the material. I had to re-enter my math education at a pre-algebra level last fall. I am currently taking pre-calculus thanks to their preparation and have fallen in love with math again.
They are shining examples of how instructors at the Community College level in America can inspire students to excellence.
~ Erika P.
Laney College Student
It’s Ada Lovelace Day again (#ALD2011) celebrating women leading in ICT. Findingada.com encourages posts about your favorite inspirations. Last year, I got into mild trouble, though …
#FF cool women in tech:
@adfskitteh @birgittaj @clarinette02 @danicar @datachick @davienthemoose @EUdiscovery @hmason @jilliancyork @jonibrennan @karaswisher @katrinskya @lovisatalk @macgirlsweden @MarieAndreeW @Memset_Kate @mollydotcom @musingvirtual @NeelieKroesEU @NIEMExecDir @PRC_amber @PrivacyProf @raesmaa @wseltzer
Here’s to Ms. Dunkl, my 9th grade science teacher! She was a wonderful role model, a good teacher, and an entertaining lecturer. She also sponsored a club to raise money for impoverished folks in our area, showing us a scientist can, and should, have a heart, as well as a brain.
When I start to think who has inspired me to maths the important person was my high school teacher Pirkko Kuusjärvi from Oulu, Finland. She has always shown so much warmth and dignity as well as femininity being such an amazing teacher at the same time. The other person is my university vicar professor Alli Huovinen, who still waves a flag for maths studying at all grades, although she herself isn’t teaching anymore. She is an inspiring person in every way and a first real woman mathematician I’ve ever met.
Dr. Helen Caldicott — Telling truth to power since the 1970’s
From “Unsafe at Any Dose, ” originally published in the New York Times:
” … when I first heard about the reactor damage at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan, I knew the prognosis: If any of the containment vessels or fuel pools exploded, it would mean millions of new cases of cancer in the Northern Hemisphere …
Many advocates of nuclear power would deny this …
But this is dangerously ill informed and short-sighted …
Nuclear accidents never cease …
As we know from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it takes years to get cancer. Leukemia takes only 5 to 10 years to emerge, but solid cancers take 15 to 60. Furthermore, most radiation-induced mutations are recessive; it can take many generations for two recessive genes to combine to form a child with a particular disease, like my specialty, cystic fibrosis. We can’t possibly imagine how many cancers and other diseases will be caused in the far future by the radioactive isotopes emitted by Chernobyl and Fukushima …
Doctors understand these dangers … the medical dictum says that for incurable diseases, the only recourse is prevention. There’s no group better prepared than doctors to stand up to the physicists of the nuclear industry.
Still, physicists talk convincingly about “permissible doses” of radiation. They consistently ignore internal emitters — radioactive elements from nuclear power plants or weapons tests that are ingested or inhaled into the body, giving very high doses to small volumes of cells. They focus instead on generally less harmful external radiation from sources outside the body…
However, doctors know that there is no such thing as a safe dose of radiation, and that radiation is cumulative. The mutations caused in cells by this radiation are generally deleterious … There are now more than 2,600 genetic diseases on record, any one of which may be caused by a radiation-induced mutation, and many of which we’re bound to see more of, because we are artificially increasing background levels of radiation …
Nuclear power is neither clean, nor sustainable, nor an alternative to fossil fuels — in fact, it adds substantially to global warming. Solar, wind and geothermal energy, along with conservation, can meet our energy needs …
At the beginning, we had no sense that radiation induced cancer. Marie Curie and her daughter didn’t know that the radioactive materials they handled would kill them … it didn’t take long for the early nuclear physicists in the Manhattan Project to recognize the toxicity of radioactive elements. I knew many of them quite well. They had hoped that peaceful nuclear energy would absolve their guilt over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but it has only extended it.
Physicists had the knowledge to begin the nuclear age. Physicians have the knowledge, credibility and legitimacy to end it.”
Dr. Caldicott hosts a weekly radio program, “If You Love This Planet.”