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Ada Lovelace Day Talk and Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Jennifer Molloy.

Attendees must register (FREE) at


On the evening of the 13th October, following a day of events for schools, we will be hosting the first of our special presentations for this year’s Festival of Ideas. Also see the event webpage.

Happy Birthday, Ada Lovelace: the first computer programmer

Time : 6:00pm

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, is widely regarded as the world’s first computer programmer, yet computing today is a male dominated field with typically 15%-20% women in the industry and taking higher computing qualifications.

In this talk celebrating the 200th anniversary of Ada Lovelace’s birth, Professor Carron Shankland of the University of Stirling will explore the story of Ada Lovelace, how she got interested in computers, what computer she was programming, and her contribution to computing.

Carron Shankland is a Professor of Computing Science at the University of Stirling, and deputy head of the school of Natural Sciences. She is Chair of BCS Women in Computing Research Group and a member of the University of Stirling Centre for Gender and Feminist Studies. Her research lies in the intersection of computer science, mathematics and biology: understanding the behaviour of biological systems through mathematical and computational models. Prof Shankland is passionate about the promotion of careers in science for women, leading a programme of actions at Stirling designed to achieve a gender balance in senior positions.

PLUS – Women in Science Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon

Time : To follow above presentation (from around 19:30)

Professor Shankland’s presentation will be followed by a Women in Science Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day! Help will be on hand to start editing, so bring your laptops and a sense of curiosity about women in science and related fields from Cambridge and beyond. The aim is to raise the visibility of inspiring women and other groups who are under-represented on Wikipedia through telling some great stories (and learning a lot along the way).


The Wandering Yak van will be in attendance serving a selection of vibrant, Middle-Eastern inspired food, that happens to be vegetarian. For roughly £6 a meal you can enjoy freshly prepared dishes including hand-made flatbreads, brilliantly crunchy falafel, baked feta with za’tar and chilli, pomegranate and mint stuffed wraps, smoky aubergine, mezze boxes, double-fried sweet potato fries and hand-made dips. More info on their website and via @wanderingyak

You are also welcome to bring your own food if you prefer.

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