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‘Enchantress of Numbers’ inspires women of the digital generation

Ada Lovelace portrait by Alfred Edward Chalon

Press release issued: 10 October 2014

Bristol will be joining a global celebration of women in science, technology, engineering and maths as part of Ada Lovelace Day.

The day, named in honour of the world’s first computer programmer, aims to inspire women to pursue careers in these subjects.

A free public lecture will be taking place at the University of Bristol on Tuesday 14 October, focussing on Lovelace’s life and pioneering work.

Although Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron, died in 1852 - almost 100 years before work began on modern day computers – her work with Babbage on the ‘Analytical Engine’ makes her an important figure in the early development of computer technology.

Lovelace’s mathematical notes include what is widely accepted as the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine. Babbage was so impressed with her talents that he called her the ‘Enchantress of Numbers’.

Ada Lovelace Day also aims to challenge the perception that science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine – known as STEMM subjects - are dominated by men.

The University’s Computer Sciences Society are holding a special event on Wednesday 15 October with talks from seven speakers to showcase the careers of women in computing and engineering and discuss the challenges women have to overcome.

•       ‘Ada Lovelace – the first programmer’ by Professor Philipp Welch from the School of Mathematics, starts at 1pm on Tuesday 14 October in the Merchant Venturers Building.

•       The Computer Sciences Society’s showcase begins at 1pm on Wednesday 15 October in the Merchant Venturers Building.

Both events are free to attend and no booking is required. For more information visit the University’s Ada Lovelace events page.

To join the conversation on Twitter follow #FindingAda2014 @UoBrisEandD

Dr Danielle Paul, British Heart Foundation Fellow at the School of Physiology and Pharmacology, will be answering questions about her experiences as a female researcher in STEM. You can tweet her @theBHF using #AdaLovelaceDay.

Further information

The Schools of Physics, Experimental Psychology, Chemistry, Mathematics and the Merchant Venturer’s School of Engineering will be holding interactive stalls in the foyers of their buildings celebrating the work of female scientists, mathematicians and engineers.

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