Today we celebrate Ada Lovelace Day, celebrating the world’s first computer programmer and her achievements. It is also a day celebrating the contributions of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Ada Lovelace was an English mathematician and writer (1815-1852) who is often referred to as the world’s first computer programmer. At the age of 17, Ada met Charles Babbage, inventor of the first automatic digital computer. She took great interest in his work and was able to collaborate closely with him to create an algorithm for his prototype using her previous mathematical training.

In 1843, Ada published a translation of an article on the Analytical Engine from French to English, originally written by the Italian engineer Luigi Menabrea the year before. Ada was able to contribute more information to this article regarding how the machine in question could be programmed to compute Bernoulli numbers.

Ada Lovelace Day includes many events around the world, celebrating Ada Lovelace role model, encouraging more girls into STEM careers and supporting women already working in STEM.

Every year since 2016, PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe) has presented the Ada Lovelace Award to female scientists who have made outstanding contributions to High Performance Computing, not just in Europe but all over the world. The previous awardees have been Dr. Zoe Cournia of the Academy of Athens’ Biomedical Research Foundation, Prof. Dr. Frauke Gräter of the University of Heidelberg’s Institute for Theoretical Studies, and Prof. Dr. Xiaoxiang Zhu of the Technical University of Munich’s German Aerospace Center. The winner is announced annually at the PRACEdays Scientific and Industrial Conference and is invited to join the concluding plenary Panel Session.

For more information, please read PRACE Ada Lovelace Award for HPC - Summary