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TED celebrates women in technology today

Posted by: Tedstaff

In January, Suw Charman-Anderson declared March 24 Ada Lovelace Day — a day to celebrate female role models in technology. She asked other bloggers to help her celebrate “a woman in technology whom I admire.”

Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) is best known for writing a description of the Analytical Engine, a mechanical general-purpose computer designed by Charles Babbage. She appended notes on the machine that included a method for calculating Bernoulli numbers, and though the machine was never built, the method is considered the one of the world’s first computer programs. Ada also expressed the foresight that computers could do more than just crunch numbers.

We’d like to highlight a few modern Ada Lovelaces of our own:

In the mid-1990s, Brenda Laurel asked: Why are all the top-selling video games aimed at little boys? She spent two years researching the world of girls to create a game that girls would love. Watch her 1998 TEDTalk here:

Movable Type’s Mena Trott is the founding mother of the blog revolution. At TED in 2006, Mena talked about the early days of blogging, when she realized that giving regular people the power to share our lives online is the key to building a friendlier, more connected world. Watch Mena’s TEDTalk here:

Aimee Mullins talks about her prosthetic legs — she’s got a dozen amazing pairs — and the superpowers they grant her: speed, beauty, and an extra six inches of height. Using technology, Aimee redefines what the body can be. Watch her 2009 TEDTalk here:

Learn more about Ada Lovelace here.

– Bonnie Burke