Editor’s note: The following is a press release from Cardinal Stage. Bloom has republished it here with minor edits for style and clarity.
Although the name may be unrecognizable to most, Ada Byron Lovelace is known as the mother of the modern-day computer. Lovelace was a brilliant female mathematician born in London at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution and the only legitimate child of the poet Lord Byron. She partnered with Charles Babbage, inventor of the first Analytical Engine, appending notes to an article about the device that many consider to be the first computer program. Because she introduced so many computer concepts, Lovelace is now considered the first computer programmer. More importantly, Lovelace was the first person to foresee the creative potential of the Engine. She explained how it could do so much more than merely calculate numbers, and given the right programming inputs, could even create music and art. Her vision of computing’s possibilities was unmatched by any of her peers and went unrecognized for a century.
Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). According to Ada Lovelace Day International, “[the day] aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and, in doing so, create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM.” Founded in 2009, it is now held every year on the second Tuesday of October and celebrated in cities across the globe.
This year, the Bloomington community is celebrating its third annual Ada Lovelace Day with a special focus on how the arts relate to STEM (commonly referred to as STEAM). Cardinal Stage and Dimension Mill are teaming up once again to host International Ada Lovelace Day: Connecting Art and Innovation at The Mill, 642 N. Madison St., on Tuesday, October 12, from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
The event will begin with a free catered lunch by Pili’s Party Tacos, followed by a discussion panel moderated by Jane Martin, board chair of Dimension Mill. The panel will highlight Cardinal Stage’s upcoming production of Ada and the Engine and broader connections between art and innovation (panelists will be announced soon).The event will also include the presentation of Bloomington’s third Ada Lovelace Award recognizing a local pioneer in STEAM. To register for the celebration, visit bit.ly/ada-btown.