Gender equity and equality in Science are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, part of the Global goals those world leaders agreed in 2015. Countries around the world have made a lot of effort in inspiring the engaging women and girls in Science. Since it is initiation, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science has been a day to recognize and reflect on the achievements of women all around the world and UN Women Australia, celebrated on the 11th of February. It is an opportunity to remember the greatest powerful women who inspire us for their work in the computing field. From Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer in the mid-nineteenth century to Katherine Johnson the American mathematician, these women have made a huge impact not just on computing technologies, but their stories continue to inspire the world.
Who Was Ada Lovelace?
Ada Lovelace born in 1815 had been named the “first computer programmer” in the mid-nineteenth century. Her education and mathematical talents led her worked closely with scientist Charles Babbage, who first conceptualized a digital programmable computer. In her works on the Analytical Engine, a hugely complex mathematical machine, Ada Lovelace exhibited an understanding of computing that would remain unparalleled for a century. She outlined a number of computer programs for the machine to run, and in doing so earned the title of history’s “first computer programmer.”
Between 1842 and 1843, Ada Lovelace translated an article by Italian military engineer Luigi Menabrea on the calculating engine, supplementing it with an elaborate set of notes, simply called “Notes”, her notes are important in the early history of computers, containing what many consider the first computer program, an algorithm designed to be carry out by a machine. Thus, she imagined a general-purpose computer that would not only be able to calculate complex sums, but also compose music and create graphics in the mid-nineteenth century.
Ada Lovelace was intensely ill throughout much of her life, and she died at the age of 36, but her legacy writings will never be forgotten. Learn more about Ada Lovelace
Katherine Johnson She Was a Computer!
Katherine Johnson is an African American, was born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia on 26 August 1918. As a young age, she was brilliant with numbers and her potential was clear to her teachers and was ahead several grades at school. At the age of thirteen (13), she was attending the high school on the campus of historically black West Virginia State College. By the age of eighteen (18), she enrolled in the college itself, where she made quick work of the school’s math curriculum and found a mentor in math the Professor William Schieffelin Claytor, whom encouraged Katherine Johnson to become a research mathematician and created a geometry class just for her. She was the third African American to earn a PhD in mathematics, graduated with highest honours in 1937, and took a job teaching at a black public school in Virginia.
In 1953 she began working at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA)’s known as NASA today in West Area Computing unit. Her duties was performed complex mathematical calculations for the program’s engineers. Katherine Johnson did calculations for the first moon landing, and later for the space shuttle program. She figured out the paths for the spacecraft to orbit go around the earth and to land on the Moon.
Because Johnson was a legendary woman, whom calculated and analyzed the flight paths of many spacecraft during her 33 years with the NASA. “She was an American hero and her pioneering legacy will never be forgotten”, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said.
President Barack Obama awarded Katherine Johnson the Nation’s Highest Civilian Honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a 2015 White House Ceremony. In her 33 years at NASA, Katherine Johnson was a pioneer who broke the barriers of race and gender, showing generations of young people that everyone can excel in math and science, and reach for the stars, Obama said.
Meet Katherine Johnson NASA Genius Who Helped Send the First American into Space
Watch Hidden Figures Official Trailer Based on the Untold True Story of Katherine Johnson
Hidden Figures is a 2016 American biographical drama film directed by Theodore Melfi and written by Melfi and Allison Schroeder