Maths speaker required for Ada Lovelace Day 2013

In an epic feat of planning ahead, the East Midlands branch of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) is searching for a female speaker to talk about the role of women (or a particular woman) in mathematics for an Ada Lovelace Day 2013 event.

They are looking for someone who could speak to a group of mathematicians and students interested in maths. Audience size would be up to 100, although that’s obviously difficult to predict. Traditionally the talks are held on a week-day evening at 7.30pm and typically last about 50 minutes. The venue would be a university in the East Midlands: Loughborough, Nottingham, Leicester, Derby or Nottingham Trent.

The IMA would be able to definitely cover travel expenses, and may be able to cover hotel costs although that would be confirmed nearer the time. The speaker would also be invited out for a meal either before or after the talk.

If interested, please email Carol Robinson directly.

Please support women in STEM with our ALD fundraiser

I am very excited to say that we have just launched our first ever Ada Lovelace Day fundraiser on Indiegogo. We hope to raise $24,000 (£15,000) so that we can create a formal charitable organisation to develop our activities, and for that we need your support.

Since its inception, Ada Lovelace Day has been run entirely by volunteers and by partnering with organisations like the Women’s Engineering Society, the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment, the London Games FestivalBCS Women and businesses like Evectors and Technophobia. We have managed a huge amount through the kindness and generosity of our volunteers and partners, but there is so much more we could do.

Our future direction

There is so much that we would like to do to expand our reach, provide support for women who need it, and raise awareness of women’s contributions to the STEM disciplines. Here are a few of goals:

  • Create and collate teaching plans for all educational levels
  • Create an expert speakers directory for women in STEM
  • Provide media training for women interested in improving their communications skills
  • Hold events to introduce women in STEM to journalists
  • Outreach to relevant professional and student bodies
  • Curate stories of iconic women in STEM
  • Create a directory of organisations for women in STEM
We want to provide help to women in STEM not just on one day of the year, but all year round. If you want to see us realised these goals, please donate.

Where would the money go?

£5,000/$8,000: Our first priority is Ada Lovelace Day 2012 and ensuring that the events are given the administrative support that they need to be successful. We’ll also spend time adding more useful content to our website.

£10,000/$16,000: Reaching this goal would give us enough money to get professional advice and help in creating a formal charitable organisation.

£15,000/$24,000 or more: This would allow us to commission website design and development work. It would also give us the resources to do further fundraising to secure the long-term future of the organisation.

Ada Lovelace Day will always be a special event, but with your support we can extend our activities and help many more women flourish in science, technology, engineering and maths.

What if we don’t reach our goal?

This project is set to ‘keep what you raise’, which means that your kind donation will go towards supporting Ada Lovelace Day 2012, no matter what happens. Everything that you give, minus Indiegogo and payment processing fees, will help us to improve our support for women in STEM. If we don’t reach our goal, we’ll still get the money, but will pay more in fees.

Spreading the word

Whether you are able to support us or not, one really important thing you can do is spread the word:

Tell everyone in your social networks
Tweet it, blog it, Facebook it, Pin it! Share it on Tumblr, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg. Let everyone know about Ada Lovelace Day and our fundraiser. And remember, no matter the size of your own personal network, the more we Tweet and reTweet, the further the message will spread.

Email your friends and/or relevant mailing lists
If you have friends who might be interested in supporting Ada Lovelace Day, why not send them a quick email about our fundraising project? Equally, if you’re on any science, technology, engineering, maths, or women-in-STEM mailing lists, and you feel that it would be appropriate, please do send them an email pointing them to this fundraiser.

Post an item on LinkedIn or Facebook Groups
If you’re in any tech, science or women-in-STEM LinkedIn or Facebook Groups, why not post a small item about Ada Lovelace Day and our fundraiser, and point people here so they can find out more?

Write a blog post, record a podcast
If you have a blog, podcast, videoblog or website, please tell your audience why you think supporting Ada Lovelace Day is a good idea and provide a link to this page.

Every single text, blog post, email and update helps us reach not just potential supporters, but also helps us to spread the word about Ada Lovelace Day and our events, so thank you!

Visit our Indieogogo page.

Interested in making games? Come to our XX Game Jam

For the second of our official Ada Lovelace Day events this year, we’ve partnered with the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment  and the London Games Festival to put on the XX Game Jam, a pioneering all-women event which will take place in London on 26/27th October.

A game jam is a gathering of developers, artists, and other creatives to design and make games in a very short space of time, in this case 24 hours. The event will run from 6.30pm on Friday 26 October until 11pm, and then from 9am until 6.30pm on Saturday 27 October. The theme for the games will be revealed on the Friday evening.

If you’re a programmer, producer, artist, designer, sound designer and composer, and you fancy coming along to try your hands at making some games, please apply for a spot. You don’t need to have any direct experience in the games industry, just enthusiasm!

Men are welcome to support the event and attend the games showcase and prize ceremony on the Saturday evening from 6.30pm, but only women may participate.

Entry to the event is free. Location is TBC but will be in London somewhere. And food and refreshments will be provided on both days. If you have any enquiries, please contact Debbie at Auroch Digital.

This event is also supported by DCRC@University of the West of England, London Games Festival, Next Gen Skills & Auroch Digital.

Get your tickets now for Ada Lovelace Day Live! Featuring the WES Karen Burt Award

Last year’s Ada Lovelace Day Live! event, held with BCSWomen, was such an amazing success that we decided to do it again on 16 October! This year, we are collaborating with the Women’s Engineering Society who will be presenting the prestigious Karen Burt Memorial Award to a newly chartered woman engineer at the event.

As well as the announcement of the award winner, we’ll be spoiling you with performances from:

All hosted by inimitable songstress and one third of the Festival of the Spoken Nerd, Helen Arney!

Rest assured, it will be an entertaining evening of science, technology, comedy and song, featuring all manner of wonders, from marine biology and particle physics to the secrets of fridges and performance robots. Seriously, Ada Lovelace Day Live! is an event not to be missed!

Tickets are £10 each and available from the WES site. Do not miss out!

Ada Lovelace Thanks to our partnership with WES, we’ll be holding ALD Live! at the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Savoy Place, London. This is apt not least because the IET archives holds a small collection of letters, written by Ada Lovelace to Michael Faraday in 1844, as well as a letter from Charles Babbage to Faraday in which Babbage describes Lovelace as an ‘enchantress’! The IET also has a copy, by Mary Remington, of the 1836 portrait of Lovelace by Margaret Carpenter.

About WES and the Karen Burt Memorial Award
Founded in 1919, WES is “a professional, not-for-profit network of women engineers, scientists and technologists offering inspiration, support and professional development.”

Although the world has changed since a group of women decided to band create an organisation to support women in engineering, the need is still there. WES works to connect students with professionals, organise events to support  young people, and provide career support and networking groups.

Karen Burt was a WES Council officer who campaigned to improve the recruitment and retention of women in science and engineering. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation Systems at University College, London, but her career at UCL was cut tragically short by a stroke.

The Karen Burt Memorial Award was first presented in 1999 to Rebecca Dowsett, and is given each year to a Chartered woman in engineering, applied science, and IT.

“The award recognizes the candidate’s excellence and potential in the practice of engineering and highlights the importance of Chartered status, as well as offering recognition to contributions made by the candidate to the promotion of the engineering profession.”

Save the date: 16 October 2012

Planning for this year’s Ada Lovelace Day is kicking off and I’m pleased to announce that this year it will be held on Tuesday 16 October 2012. As soon as we have more details about what we’re planning for the day we will let you know, but in the meantime please mark the date in your diary and spread the word! (And don’t forget to join our mailing list!)


Why has the date changed?
The primary reason why the date has changed is simply that I had an insurmountable clash in my diary. The secondary reason is that the 7th October this year falls on a Sunday which is a bit of a rubbish day for events.

I had already begun planning for 7 October. What do I do now?
Keep going! Spreading events out a little bit will help give Ada Lovelace Day legs, and there’s no earthly reason why we have do to absolutely everything on the same day. Who knows, maybe soon it’ll be Ada Lovelace Week instead!

Why isn’t ALD on one of Ada’s important dates, like her birthday or deathday?
Ada may be the figurehead for this movement, but we’re focused on celebrating all women in STEM, not just Ada. Ada’s significant dates are also a bit too close to Christmas for comfort and we’d have problems getting venues for events as we’d be in competition with parties and other festive events.

Can’t the day just stay put?
Think of it like Easter, which wanders around all over the place and yet we still seem to cope.

What will the date be in 2013?
When I have a better idea what my diary is like in October 2013, I’ll be able to set a date. Check back in about a year’s time.


If you have any other questions, please fire away! But do bear in mind that Ada Lovelace Day is organised by me and a tiny group of volunteers who put their own time into the project. It only exists because people are kind enough to give up their evenings and weekends to make it happen.