Ada Lovelace Day 2011 — A Round Up of Women in the Sciences Changing the World!

First up, we got an awesome bit of her-story: women programmers and mathematicians helped decide WWII.  One of the links talks about how they were never formally acknowledged for their work, and what that means for histories of science.

Rewinding a bit, here’s a link that talks about 10 surprising things invented by women, and includes a very brief discussion of women and patent law.

Next up: Jessie Little Doe Baird is reviving Wampnoag. She received a MacArthur fellowship, and designed a program to teach a language with no living speakers. Language extinction is real and that Baird is realizing such success is AMAZING. Pedagogy: It’s a science, y’all.

Elizabeth Scharpf, founder of SHE and a Harvard MBA, invents the banana pad, an ecologically friendly menstruation product that also provides Rwandan women the opportunity to own their own business. Hip hip! Plus, this is a human rights issue: many girls drop out of school at the onset of menses if there are not clean, safe, and healthy facilities available to them.

Ingrid Daubechies became the first woman president of the International Mathematical Union. <3

These lovely Spelman ladies beat out MIT and Harvard for the best mobile phone app.

Seven Sisters alum helps diabetics using dogs.

In the US, there’s a pretty neat grass roots movement for geeky women interested in Science, Tech, and Math (STEM)! She’s Geeky looks like loads of fun.

Hey, maybe they’ll issue a special invite to the Flying Monkeys, a Girl Scout troop in Iowa that designed a prosthetic hand!

Above’s a short video on Madam CJ Walker, who revolutionized the hair care industry AND financially empowered many other black women.

Earlier this year, XKCD talked about why days like this are important: not to inspire greatness or present role models, but to highlight that women researchers are not alone.

Mary Flanagan (games researcher)

TaraRodgers (UMD)

Whaaaaaaaaaat. My science fair in HS had nothing on these three young adults… whose groundbreaking research won them some neat LEGO trophies. Also impressive: the ladies behind The Human Project.

Even as we praise women in the sciences, let’s also take a moment and acknowledge that technological advancement has a disproportionate impact globally. Samsung’s factories in Korea are rife with HUGELY unsafe working conditions, and the US/Mexican border houses factories where women’s bodies (not technology) are disposable. “Theirs are the fingers that wire televisions, computers, cell phones, and a miscellany of other gadgets that make our life in the information age easier.”

 

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