It’s Women’s History Month, once again. SOOOOO much of women’s history is that of “hidden figures,” either because a woman did the work and a man took the credit (Rosalind Franklin), because a woman had to pose as a man to make her contribution in the first place (Deborah Sampson), because a woman’s contribution was compelled against her will (Lucy, Anarcha, and Betsey among others), or because a woman was both the “wrong” gender and the “wrong” color (the original Hidden Figures, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson).
So I wanted to start a little sharing circle, of “hidden figures” women we should all know.
I’ll go first, with Ada Lovelace.
Ada was an English mathematician who lived in the early 19th century. Although she did not *build* the first computing machine, she did the theoretical work to move the concept of the “analytical engine” from the realm of calculation (numbers) into computation (symbols and other data sources), and wrote the first computer program, describing “a stepwise sequence of operations for solving certain mathematical problems.” (source)
Although Charles Babbage actually built the engine, his work would not have been possible without her. Since 2009, she is honored on second Tuesday in October, Ada Lovelace Day, an annual celebration of women in STEM, which was originated by Suw Charman-Anderson.
Who’s next, with a “hidden figure” of your own?
Image from the Computer History Museum.
Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1.