Computer science has historically been a male-dominated field - however, more recently, there has been a shift in encouraging young women to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers. There is still a long way to go to balance the number of men in computer science, but we can thank three women for changing the game. Below, we'll briefly look at the histories of these three remarkable women, their achievements, and why women in STEM should know their names.
1. Ida Lovelace Source: Wikipedia In 1843, nearly a century before the computer age, mathematician Ada Lovelace envisioned a general-purpose computer. Not only can the device be programmed to follow instructions, but it can also "weave algebraic patterns, much like a jacquard machine weaves flowers and leaves," Lovelace wrote. According to biographer, Betty Alexandra Toole, Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron, was born with a combination of art and science. talent. From an early age, Lovelace had an insatiable curiosity about mechanics and mathematics. Her mother encouraged her interests, provided private tutors, and surrounded her with some of the most brilliant intellectuals in British science. At a time when women are not considered credible scientific thinkers,
Lovelace is determined to prove herself. She became the first to realize that computers could have applications beyond computing. She then published the first algorithm intended to be executed by a computer, which would help calculate the seventh Bernoulli number. This led her male colleagues to often refer to her skills as "masculine". Later, as a mother of two, she eagerly continued her work, looking forward to the future impact of computing. Her prophetic writings predict that computers will one day be able to perform complex calculations faster and more accurately than humans. She also predicted the possibility of machines using statistics to incrementally improve certain tasks, also known as AI.