York University celebrates International Ada Lovelace Day

Ada Lovelace, English writer and mathematician
Ada Lovelace, English writer and mathematician (1815-52), daughter of Lord Byron and friend of Charles Babbage

Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of women’s achievements in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), took place on Oct. 11. Lovelace was a 19th-century English mathematician and writer who also happened to be the very first computer programmer. She wrote what were essentially computer programs for the analytical engine that Charles Babbage, computing pioneer, was designing, but never actually created. Her contributions and achievements were largely overlooked: an issue that continues to exist for women in many fields, especially science.

For the second year in a row, York University is joining the global celebration of Ada Lovelace Day with two informative events, on Oct. 17 and 27,  that are open to everyone with an interest in STEM subjects and the contributions of women.

On Monday, Oct. 17, Bryan Gaensler of the University of Toronto will give the International Ada Lovelace Day Lecture, “How Men can be Allies to Women in STEM,” from 12:30 to 1:30pm in 125 Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence, Keele campus. He will discuss how men can help shift the STEM culture towards increased inclusivity and diversity.

Gaensler is Canada Research Chair in Radio Astronomy, and director of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. His research is in cosmic magnetism, time-domain astrophysics and the diffuse universe. Voted Young Australian of the Year in 1999, he is a longtime advocate for women in STEM.

The second event is the Ada Lovelace Day Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon on Thursday, Oct. 27, from 10am to 5pm in 021 Steacie Science & Engineering Library, Keele campus. Join an interdisciplinary team of faculty and students to create, expand and improve Wikipedia entries for women in STEM, who are typically underrepresented. Those interested are invited to drop by any time during the day.

Light snacks and beverages will be provided at both events.

For more information, visit the Ada Lovelace Day website.