Ada Lovelace is a fascinating character in the hacker pantheon. Almost definitely the first programmer, conceiving of an algorithm that could be executed on Babbage’s analytical engine, if it had ever been built. More broadly she was a mathematical enthusiast, her studies in that field no doubt informing her algorithmic developments.
Interest in Lovelace seems to have picked up considerably in recent years with a project looking to produce a biopic and an absolutely wonderful alternate history web comic that only re-casts Lovelace slightly as Babbage’s co-adventurer on mad cap, steam punk powered exploits. Sydney Padua’s work is painstakingly researched, the episodes of the comic liberally interspersed with her notes and citations. My impression is that Sydney has very much kept true to the spirit of Ada Lovelace, only really taking liberties with the historical timeline.
Cory shared a link on Boing Boing to this year’s Ada Lovelace day. More specifically he links to a form where you can pledge to write about inspiring women in science and technology who epitomize the spirit and achievements of Lovelace. The organizers received two thousand such pledges last year and have set the ambitious goal of getting 3,072 pledges for this year. Ada Lovelace day is March 24th so plenty of time between taking the pledge and writing your blog post to decided on a woman you admire and assemble your thoughts.