Happy Birthday, Ada Lovelace! 9 Other Women in Technology You Should Know

Who else loves the special Google doodles as much as me? I’m obsessed with the cool designs, but it’s also such a bonus when I get to learn about someone totally new. Let me just say today’s celebrating the 197th birthday of Ada Lovelace was particularly awesome.

Ada Lovelace is considered the “first computer programmer.” In her notes on the “Analytical Engine” of Charles Babbage, she was thinking up computers way back in the 1800s. Is this woman amazing or what?

I spent a half hour this morning just reading more and more about this woman and pioneer computer programmer. I can’t believe I’d never heard of her! I spend all day working on my computer and to know nothing about this woman who played such an important role in computer history is crazy.

To celebrate Ada Lovelace’s legacy, we want to highlight nine other women who have done fabulous things when it comes to engineering, computer programming, science and technology to once again prove that girls got it going on when it comes to the sciences!

Ellen Swallow Richards
Ellen was the first woman to ever be admitted into MIT. She later went on to become a teacher at the school, as well one of the driving forces for opening up the Women’s Laboratory there to be used for chemistry education.

Henrietta Swan Leavitt
Henrietta was part of a group of women known as the “Harvard Computers” in the early twentieth century. In addition to discovering a whole bunch of stars, Henrietta came up with a method to classify the brightness of stars and worked with Cepheid variables. Those variables became important in determining the distance of stars up to 100 million light years away from Earth.

Hedy Lamarr
The actress, along with George Antheil, developed a way to alter radio frequencies to allow for secretive communication. This is important technology both for the military and cell phones.

Grace Murray Hopper
Grace, a future Admiral in the U.S. Navy, learned how to program the Mark I in the 1940s. As a software engineer, she invented the technology to allow computers to convert and understand English instructions.

Mary Allen Wilkes
Mary is known for her development work with LINC, and she is also considered not just the first woman, but the first person to use a home computer.

Beatrice Hicks
Beatrice had multiple science degrees – chemical engineering, electrical engineer AND physics! The company she was president of contributed products to the space program and she continued to be a leader in engineering by becoming the first president of the Society of Women Engineers.

Sister Mary Kenneth Keller
In 1965, she was the first woman to get a Ph.D in computer science and she helped developed computer language at the Dartmouth computer center.

Carol Shaw
Carol worked for gaming companies like Atari and Activision and is considered to have been the first woman to work as a professional video game designer.

Janese Swanson
I lived for Carmen San Diego computer games, and Janese was one of the product managers who oversaw them. She founded Girl Tech in 1995 – a company dedicated to exposing girls to new technology products.

Marissa Mayer
Before becoming the CEO of Yahoo this year, Marissa was the first female engineer at Google (and one of her jobs was actually to approve the awesome doodles!)

Did you know who Ada Lovelace was before today? Are you interested in a career in science? Know of any other women in engineering or computer programming we should have included? Tell us in the comments!

Getting girls interested in science careers is awesome! But this PSA? Not so much.

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter!


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