Hacking Rhetoric

Blue Blog: Ada Lovelace Day

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Yesterday was Ada Lovelace Day! But, I found myself asking, who exactly is Ada Lovelace?
I took to the web and found this video: a succinct introduction to the legendary lady. Ada is heralded as ‘the first computer programmer’ for her algorithm for Bernoulli numbers, but just as impressive as the program itself is her communication of Babbage’s analytical machine(the precursor of today’s computer) through extensive notes, as well as her visionary foresight for the machine’s capabilities. I think in someways this makes her one of the first ‘computer hackers’ as well. She took Babbage’s machine, and demonstrated an even deeper understanding than the creator himself! Tinkering, exploring, she wrote her algorithm out of fascination for the new technology and the math. She saw what many of her contemporaries could not see- a future where this kindof machine could compose music, create graphics. It may be a stretch to call her a hacker, but to me, she embodies the true hacker ethic.

The day serves not only to honour Ada, but all heroines of science and tech. I dedicate Ada Lovelace day 2013 to my heroines– my science and math teachers growing up. To Mrs. Green, who didn’t think Pre-K was to young to grasp the elegance of evolution. To Mrs. Larry, who made physics awesome (and let us go to a theme park for a field trip!!). To Mrs. Schafer, the kindest, most patient, encouraging teacher I have ever known. To Mrs. Brogenski, for being a total badass and teaching us from a virtual classroom.. on a volcano… in Antarctica… To Mrs. Angus, for turning me on to my favorite STEM field– biology! To Prof. Cooper, one of the most effective, elegant science communicators I have ever encountered– if not for your class I would not be in CNS at UT today. And to Mrs. Wright, who let me take the 3rd grade sci-class bunny ‘vanilla’ home with me for a whole summer… he was so cute ^-^


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