Women in STEM advent calendar: Day 1 – Tapputi

This winter, we are celebrating the festive season by honouring 25 amazing women in STEM, some of which you might not know of!

Tapputi

Tapputi

First known chemist
1,200 BCE
Iraq

Babylonian parfumier and chemist Tapputi oversaw the royal court perfumery, creating fragrant substances for medicinal and religious purposes. She had a detailed knowledge of chemistry, especially solvents, as well as processes such as extraction, distillation and cold enfleurage. Her descriptions of her still and the process of distillation are the earliest in human history.

For more about Tapputi, take a look at:

New careers poster: What kind of technologist could I be?

What kind of technologist are you

Click to see a bigger version

We are delighted to be able to finally reveal our latest careers poster, What Kind Of Technologist Could I Be?, created in collaboration with Stack Overflow, the internet’s largest online community for software developers.

Over the last few months, a team at Stack Overflow led by design managers Kristina Lustig and Rennie Abraham have used metadata about their job listings, as well as results from their 2018 Developer Surveys, in order to identify ten broad categories of job in the tech industry. Together with Ada Lovelace Day founder Suw Charman-Anderson, they then crafted descriptions that we hope will inspire girls to consider the wide variety of roles available to them in tech.

The poster aims to explode the idea that the only people who work in tech are programmers, and that traditionally female-coded roles, such as Teacher, Communicator and Facilitator are ‘not really tech jobs’.

The role descriptions are left intentionally general so that students can more easily explore the nuances of different jobs within each category. That also allows teachers, parents and career advisors to talk through the personal attributes that attract students to a particular role type, rather than focus on a narrow set of technical skills which might initially seem intimidating.

“Ada Lovelace is a hero to many at Stack Overflow (we even have a conference room named after her in our NYC office!)” said Lustig. “We were excited to do our small part in supporting Ada Lovelace Day, especially since, as the world’s largest community for developers, we share a passion for making tech more inclusive.”

As with our other careers posters, What Kind Of Technologist Could I Be? will be made available soon as a free download, and as a print-on-demand poster via our shop at RedBubble.

ALD partnering with international universities to develop professional network in ecology

Ada Lovelace Day is teaming up with ecologists from the University of York and DePaul University in Chicago, USA, to run an international ecology workshop and to create a long-lasting and robust professional network amongst participants, who will be drawn predominantly from groups and countries generally underrepresented in STEM.

The collaboration has been awarded a £80,177 grant by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to run the project, which will study fungi essential to soil health as well as promoting inclusivity and the retention of women and minorities in science.

Innovative investigation into crucial fungi

Dr Bala Chaudhary

Dr Bala Chaudhary on a green roof experiment in Chicago, installing a spore trap to measure fungal spore dispersal.

An international workshop in York in the summer of 2019 will bring together ecologists from around the world to design a spore trap to be used in locations across the globe to collect samples and shed some light on the airborne dispersal of mycorrhizal fungi spores. Participants will co-design the trap itself, the data collection methods, and implementation, leading to the development of a dynamic, predictive model of mycorrhizal fungi distribution and dispersal networks.

Mycorrhizal fungi are essential to soil health, playing a major role in soil quality, plants’ nutrient and water uptake, as well as protecting them from pests and pathogens. By investigating the dispersal rates of these spores, we can better understand if and how these fungi spread from area to area – the first step to rebuilding resilience in soils that have degraded due to environmental change, and subsequently strengthening food production and security.

Global network to support women and minorities

With support from universities on five continents, the project will also develop participants’ cross-timezone collaboration and professional networking skills to create a sustainable and truly global community. It will particularly focus on recruiting scientists who are diverse in gender, race, geography and culture with support for those from low and middle income countries.

The project will be led by York’s Dr Thorunn Helgason, Senior Lecturer in Ecology, alongside Dr Pen Holland, Lecturer in Ecology. Project partners will include Dr V Bala Chaudhary, Assistant Professor in Environmental Science and Studies at DePaul University and Suw Charman-Anderson, founder of Ada Lovelace Day, an annual international celebration of the achievements of women in STEM.

Let us know how your indie event went

Every year, Ada Lovelace Day sees dozens of people from around the world organising their own independent events to celebrate, promote and support girls and women in STEM. This year, we have over 115 events, with at least one on every continent so far and more coming in every day.

For the last three years, we have also been putting together End of Year Reports to talk about the work we’ve done over the previous twelve months. This year, we’d very much like to be able to provide our supporters with a clearer picture of how many people attend Ada Lovelace Day events around the world, to get a sense of how far the movement has grown over the last ten years.

To that end, we’d like to ask all event organisers to spend a few minutes giving us a little extra information about your events. If you ran multiple events, we’d be grateful if you could fill in the form once for each event. We will then be able to share the compiled results with you here on this blog and in our report for 2018.

If you have any questions about this form, please email Suw Charman-Anderson.

And finally, thank you so much for being a part of what makes Ada Lovelace Day so special!

Celebrating Ada Lovelace: A timeline

In celebration of Ada Lovelace Day’s 10th year, we would like to look back on all the groups and individuals that have honoured Ada Lovelace over the years. With that in mind, we’ve created a timeline of books, academic research, events, projects, films, documentaries and many other activities, to try and capture all the contributions that have helped make Ada and her achievements more recognised.

1950 – Computing Machinery and Intelligence, AM Turing, Mind, Volume LIX, Issue 236, 1 October 1950, Pages 433–460.
– This is Alan Turing’s seminal piece on artificial intelligence, in which he discusses Lady Lovelace’s Objection. 

1980 – The ADA programming language
– A computing language designed by Jean Ichbiah at CII Honeywell Bull, for the US Department of Defense.

1985 – Ada: A Life and a Legacy
– A biographical book on Ada Lovelace, 
by Dorothy Stein, reviewed by Garry J. Tee.

1990 – The Difference Engine
– An alternative history fiction book, by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling that includes Ada Lovelace as a character, giving a lecture in France.

1994 – The Ada Project
– An online project for information and resources about women in computing (found here).

1997 – Conceiving Ada
– A film about a computer scientist who becomes obsessed with communicating with Ada Lovelace, starring Tilda Swinton as Ada.

1998 – The Lovelace Medal
– An award established by the British Computing Society (BCS) for outstanding contributions to computer science.

1999 – The Bride of Science: Romance, Reason and Byron’s Daughter
– A biography by Benjamin Woolley, reviewed by John Zukowski.

2001 – Ada Lovelace: The Computing Wizard of Victorian England
 – This is a children’s book by Lucy Lethbridge.

2004 – Lovelace & Babbage and the creation of the 1843 ‘notes’, J. Fuegi and J. Francis, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 16-26, Oct.-Dec. 2003.
– An academic research paper expanding on Babbage and Lovelace’s work.

2005 – Adafruit
– Online store for electronics products and maker kits, founded by Limor “Ladyada” Fried.

2008 – The Lovelace Colloquium
– An annual one day conference for women computer science students, held by The British Computing Society women group (BCSWomen).

2009 – Ada Lovelace Day
– The annual celebration of women and girls in STEM, held on the second Tuesday in October, and founded by Suw Charman-Anderson.

2011 – The Ada Initiative
– A project to increase the participation of women in the open source and open culture communities, run in the US until 2015.

2012 – Google Doodle
– On Ada’s 197th birthday, there was a google doodle done in celebration

2013 – The Ada Developers Academy
– Academy to increase diversity in tech by training people to be software developers.

2013 – Ada’s Algorithm: How Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s Daughter, Launched the Digital Age Through the Poetry of Numbers
 – James Essinger’s biography of Ada, reviewed by Kirkus.

2013 – A Female Genius: How Ada Lovelace Lord Byron’s Daughter Started The Computer Age
 – This is the US edition of Ada’s Algorithm, by James Essinger, with 5,000 additional words, reviewed by Colin Barker for ZDNet.

2013 – Ada’s List
– An email community for women in technology, launched on Ada Lovelace Day.

2013 – Ada Lovelace: An Interdisciplinary Conference Celebrating her Achievements and Legacy
– Academic conference organised by the Stevens Institute of Technology.

2013 – Great Lives
– BBC Radio 4 show on Ada Lovelace, with Konnie Huq and Suw Charman-Anderson.

2014 – The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
 – The history of computer science, including Ada Lovelace as one of the innovators, by Walter Isaacson (wiki entry here).

2015 – The Ada Lovelace Initiative
– Community intiative in Ireland, connecting women in tech with secondary schools in order to provide female role models and increase uptake amongst girls.

2015 – The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer
– Graphic novel by Sydney Padua, of an alternative reality where Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage create the Difference Engine (wiki entry here).

2015 – Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine
 – Children’s book by Laurie Wallmark, reviewed by Maria Russo for the New York Times.

2015 – Lady Byron and her Daughters
 – A book about the life of Lady Byron by Julia Markus, reviewed by Anne Boyd Rioux for the LA Review of Books.

2015 – Ada Lovelace: Victorian Computing Visionary, by Suw Charman-Anderson, Ada User Journal: V 36, No 1, March 2015, pp 35
– Bicentennial edition featuring several articles about Ada Lovelace.

2015 – Calculating Ada: The Countess of Computing
– Documentary that aired on BBC Four, presented by Dr Hannah Fry.

2015 – The Letters of Ada Lovelace
 – BBC Radio 4 Dramatisation, presented by Georgina Ferry.

2015 – Ada. Ada. Ada.
– Stage show of the story of Ada Lovelace, written and directed by Zoe Philpott

2015 – UK passports
– Update to the passports that included Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage on pages 46 and 47.

2015 – A Passion for Science: Stories of Discovery and Invention
 – A collection of stories about women in science, including Ada Lovelace, edited by Suw Charman-Anderson.

2016 – Ada, the National College for Digital Skills
– A college founded to help fill the digital skills gap and encourage inclusion in the tech industry.

2016 – Programming Pioneer Ada Lovelace
 – A children’s book and part of the STEM Trailblazer Biography series, by Valerie Bodden

2016 – Ada’s Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer
– Children’s book by Fiona Robinson, reviewed by Emma Coonan.

2016 – Idea Makers: Personal Perspectives on the Lives & Ideas of Some Notable People
 – Book by Stephen Wolfram, includes a chapter on Ada Lovelace.

2016 – Ada’s Legacy: Cultures of Computing from the Victorian to the Digital Age
 – Book by Robin Hammerman and Andrew L. Russell, that developed after the Ada academic conference.

2016 – The multifaceted impact of Ada Lovelace in the digital age, Aiello, L. C, Artificial Intelligence, V 235, pp. 58-62
– An academic review of Ada’s Legacy.

2017 – Enchantress of Numbers: A Novel of Ada Lovelace
– A historical fiction novel by Jennifer Chiaverini, reviewed by Amanda Skenandore.

2017 – The Early Mathematical Education of Ada Lovelace, Hollings, C., Martin, U, and Rice, A. BSHM Bulletin: Journal of the British Society for the History of Mathematics, pp. 221-234.
– Academic research investigating the early education of Ada.

2017 – The Lovelace–De Morgan mathematical correspondence: A critical re-appraisal, Hollings, C., Martin, U, and Rice, A. Historia Mathematica, vol 34, no 3, pp. 202-231.
– Academic research paper presenting a detailed contextual analysis of some of Ada’s correspondence.

2017 – Ada and the Engine
– A stage play of Ada’s life by Lauren Gunderson.

2017 – Ada Lovelace Gin
– Part of the Great Women Spirits collection created by The Family Coppola, and released on Ada Lovelace Day.

2017 – Ada Lovelace: Consulting Mathematician
– A boardgame by 
Robin David, where Ada Lovelace has to solve the crime of a missing artifact.

2018 – The Ada Lovelace Institute
– Independent organisation formed to offer research and commentary on artificial intelligence, data and related technologies.

2018 – In Byron’s Wake
– A biography by Miranda Seymour, reviewed by Lucy Lethbridge for the Literary Review.

2018 – Ada Lovelace: The Making of a Computer Scientist
– A biography by Christopher Hollings, Ursula Martin and Adrian Rice, reviewed by Suw Charman-Anderson.

2018 – Victoria
– Ada featured as a character in the ITV drama,  portrayed by Emerald Fennell

2018 – Ada Lovelace Fellowship
– Funding for doctoral students from underrepresented groups, offered by Microsoft.

We would love to keep building on this document, so please do leave a comment if you have any other suggestions for us to add, or tweet to us @FindingAda.