STEM-heroines celebrated – Ada Lovelace Day, 13th of October 2020

Julie Ann Chan
12. October 2020

This Tuesday, in fact tomorrow, is the 11th Ada Lovelace Day. Every year people all over the world congregate to celebrate women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). At DreiKreis we find it equally important to limelight successful women, make inspiring role models more visible and encourage girls and young women to follow a degree and career in a STEM profession.

Ada who?

But why this strange name? Who was Ada Lovelace, namesake not only to a day, which honours women in this field, but the first female programmer worldwide, who as early as the 19th century worked on a forerunner of the first computer?

For a more comprehensive and truly fascinating insight into the works of this extraordinary English lady we refer to upcoming posts of our ‘Women in IT-series’, which will explore Ada and her legacy over the next weeks. Forays into historical computing will not be the only topic. We will draw parallels from Ada to today’s successful female logicians and software developers. As a highlight, we are looking forward to an interview with Professor Martina Seidl from the Institute for Formal Models and Verification of the  Johannes Kepler Universität Linz.

In brief, Ada Lovelace was a remarkable English aristocrat, who not only commanded comprehensive general knowledge but also unusually extensive mathematical understanding. She used her brilliance to work with an inventor called Charles Babbage on a machine, which – had it been built – would have been capable of doing complex calculations similar to an early form of computing. Her notes were published as the first work in the English language about this topic and the principles she described are valid in programming even today.

Events celebrating women worldwide

The 13th of October usually brings a whole host of events worldwide. Presentations are given, conferences, edit-a-thons and pub quizzes held, opportunities for networking and mentoring explored.

In the light of the recent pandemic, most of these will be online. There are however compensations and one of them may be that taking part remotely is actually easier. Check out the presentations and discussions of the Finding Ada Network, an organisation striving to promote mentoring and career development for women in IT. #ALD wants to celebrate women in STEM worldwide, honour those who teach, create new role models and fight for gender equality in industry, academia and the community.

The network hosts free webinars on Tuesday 13th of October that celebrates unsung heroines, whose work is bound to change the future of STEM.  DreiKreis is particularly looking forward to joining: Ada Lovelace Day with Lori Beer, Global Chief Information Officer (CIO) of JPMorgan Chase & Co. The conversation will focus on Lori’s career and technology, her motivation to go into this field, the advice she would give her younger self. Furthermore, she will talk about the scholarship she created to support women in STEM and why she thinks, young women should choose to study technology. If you are interested, you can register for free right here.

Another interesting, but sadly already fully booked, format is the German-based Ada Lovelace Festival 2020, which offers opportunities for networking, mentoring and one-on-one sessions as well as discussions and workshops.

Young talents in Austria can prove their precociousness at virtual activities centering around artificial intelligence. The Vienna Center for Logic and Algorithms of TU Wien hosts a whole week for school classes as part of its ‘Project ADA – Algorithmen Denken Anders’ from October 12th to 16th #4GoodAI.

Even more Ada

For an overview of events worldwide, many of which can be accessed remotely – take a look here.

At DreiKreis we are looking forward to delving deeper into the subject of women in STEM, especially IT, over the coming weeks and months. Apart from exploring Ada and her legacy, we will discover how the cultural change over the last 60 years in Austria has changed how we view women in technology. We will further draw parallels to other countries and cultures, where numbers of girls and young women going into tech are significantly higher.

You are as fascinated by this topic as we are? We are looking forward to your input!


Don’t miss any of our updates and read more about fascinating women in STEM soon!

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