Ada Lovelace: Research and development project contest based in FOSS
The Free Software Network, formed by the Peruvian Labour Trainning Forum (FOPECAL), APESOL, CPSR- Perú, INICTEL, Lahmeyer Agua y Energía S.A., Peruvian Lunix User Group - PLUG, PerúWireless, closed on August 27 the projects request stafe for the Ada Lovelace Contest, which includes free-software based projects. As stated in the contest rules, the qualification process will be started.
The award ceremony will be held on September 23, as a part of the activities of the celebration of the youth day, organized by the Youth National Council - CONAJU.
The contest, sponsored by IBM and Novell, is one of the activities in schedule for the Free Software Network. Its purpose is to stimulate and promote the research in FOSS applications in the economical, cultural and social fields of the country. The projects must have capabilities for usage in telecommunications, agriculture, economics and finance, health, foreign trade and tourism, working and labor promotion.
Through the promotion of research and the creation, we try to act as a connection between the main change agents: the students, enterprises, government institutions and non profit organizations, with the purpose of becoming artificers of the search of new solution alternatives to the national problems.
Who was Ada Lovelace?
According to Wikipedia, Ada Byron King (December 10, 1815 - November 27, 1852) was the first programmer in the history of computers. Born in England, only legitimate child of the English poet Lord Byron and Annabella Milbake Byron, married to William King, eighth Baron of King, lately named Count of Lovelace. Her married name became then Lady Augusta Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace, from which we have the modern definition of (Lady) Ada Lovelace.
She followed private studies of mathematics and science, one of her tutors being Augustus De Morgan, first mathematics teacher in London University. Self-learned, since her early youth she worked with Charles Babbage, who is considered the father of computers, thanks to his Analytical machine which works with the same principles as the actual computers.
Lovelace developed instructions to make calculations in an early version of computers. His relationship with Babbage began when she visited his workshop being very young. Babbage was very impressed with the way she understood his computer for which she wrote a plan describing the steps that would let it calculate the Bernoulli Numbers. Hers are, besides, concepts as familiar in an actual programming language as a group of instructions that make others repeat in a loop or subroutine.
Lately, he became her tutor and later they worked together. She published in 1843 a series of influential notes about Babbage Computer, his Analytical Machine, which never was built (She signed with her initials A.A.L , afraid of being censored just by being a woman). Lovelace called herself an analyst, a really modern concept for her time.
In her notes, Ada says the Analytical Machine can only give available information already known: she clearly saw it could not create knowledge. Her work was forgotten by many years, just recognizing her role as a transcriber of Babbage notes. He recognized in his time her contribution, calling her his interpreter, and recent research show the originality of her viewpoint about the necessary instructions for the working of the analytical machine. Actually, she is recognized as the first person to describe a programming language of general purpose interpreting Babbage ideas, being the full author and originality of the contributions.
Being many the women who have achieved great contributions to computer science only Ada Lovelace has a Programming Language called after her. In 1979 the Department of Defense of United States created a Pascal-based programming language honoring Lovelace, called Ada programming Language.
Last modified October 08, 2004 07:56 AM