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Ada Lovelace Symposium - Celebrating 200 Years of a Computer Visionary

10 December 2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Ada Lovelace, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s unbuilt mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. The Symposium is aimed at a broad audience of those interested in the history and culture of mathematics and computer science, presenting new discoveries for the Oxford archives, and other current scholarship on Lovelace’s life and work, and linking her ideas to contemporary thinking about mathematics, computing and artificial intelligence.
Thanks to the ACM Digital Library for sponsoring the symposium.

# Episode Title Description People Date
1 Creative Commons Enchantress of Abstraction, Bride of Science: must Ada Lovelace be a superheroine? Panel discussion to conclude the symposium with Muffy Calder, Valerie Barr, Suw Charman-Anderson, Murray Pittock and Cheryl Praeger. Muffy Calder, Valerie Barr, Suw Charman-Anderson, Murray Pittock 18 Dec 2015
2 Creative Commons Humans, machines, and the future of work Moshe Vardi, Rice University explores the question "If machines are capable of doing almost any work humans can do, what will humans do?". Moshe Vardi 18 Dec 2015
3 Creative Commons Mathematics and culture: geometry and its ‘Figures in the Air’ Judith Grabiner, Pitzer College describes how the 19th century saw radical change, producing new ideas of space, destroying the unchallenging authority of mathematics, revolutionising art, making relativity possible and helping create modernism. Judith Grabiner 18 Dec 2015
4 Creative Commons Imaginary engines In this talk graphic artist and animator Sydney Padua talks about her bestselling graphic novel "The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage". She will also display her 3D animations of how the Analytical Engine would have looked and operated. Sydney Padua 18 Dec 2015
5 Creative Commons The Analytical Engine and the Aeolian Harp In this talk Imogen Forbes-Macphail, University of California, Berkeley, contextualises Lovelace's work on the engines against the backdrop of Romantic thought surrounding the power of poetry and the nature of original composition. Imogen Forbes-Macphail 18 Dec 2015
6 Creative Commons Enchantress of Numbers or a mere debugger?: a brief history of cultural and academic understandings of Ada Lovelace To mark the 200th anniversary of Lovelace's birth, Elizabeth Bruton, Museum of the History of Science, reviews and explores academic and popular representations of Ada Lovelace and engage with the controversy of her claim as the first computer programmer. Elizabeth Bruton, Sally Shuttleworth 18 Dec 2015
7 Creative Commons The mathematical correspondence of Ada Lovelace and Augustus De Morgan During the years 1840-1, Ada Lovelace corresponded with the mathematician Augustus De Morgan. In this talk Christopher Hollings, University of Oxford reports on recent new studies of the mathematics Ada was learning with De Morgan. Christopher Hollings 18 Dec 2015
8 Creative Commons The early education of Ada Byron In this talk Julia Markus, Hofstra University shall dispel the myth that Lady Byron kept Ada from poetry, she will also show that the mother-daughter relationship was a psychological spur to Ada's early experiments. Julia Markus 18 Dec 2015
9 Creative Commons Pythagoras to pacifism: mathematics and archives In this talk June Barrow-Green from the Open University describes some mathematical archives and some of the issues associated with them. Includes an introduction from Vicki Hanson, Vice-President of the ACM. June Barrow-Green, Vicki Hanson 18 Dec 2015
10 Creative Commons Will you concede me Poetical Science? Ada Lovelace had a broad interest in the science and technologies of the day and explored post-Romantic ideas which made a significant link between science and poetry. In this talk Richard Holmes looks at some of these surprising connections. Richard Holmes 18 Dec 2015
11 Creative Commons Ada Lovelace lives forever: Ada’s four questions How Ada approached information is the key to understanding her contribution. In this talk Betty Toole, author of "ADA: The Enchantress of Numbers" focuses on Ada's four questions: What is the source? What does it mean? What if? and Why not? Betty Toole 18 Dec 2015
12 Creative Commons From Byron to the Ada Programming Language John Barnes, Ada software consultant talks about Byron and his bear and the evolution of the computing language named after Ada Lovelace. John Barnes 17 Dec 2015
13 Creative Commons Turning numbers into notes Composer Emily Howard talks to David De Roure about her musical composition 'Ada sketches'. Emily Howard, David De Roure 17 Dec 2015
14 Creative Commons Ada Lovelace, a scientist in the archives Ursula Martin, University of Oxford and Soren Riis, Queen Mary University of London give new focus to letters within the archive of Ada Lovelace's family documents. Includes an introduction by Nick Woodhouse, President of the Clay Mathematics Institute. Soren Riis, Ursula Martin, Nick Woodhouse 17 Dec 2015
15 Creative Commons Notions and notations: designing computers before computing Adrian Johnstone, Royal Holloway, University of London reviews Babbage's remarkable 'Mechanical Notation'. Adrian Johnstone 17 Dec 2015
16 Creative Commons Interpreting dreams of abstract machines Bernard Sufrin, University of Oxford establishes a context of Ada's 'Translators Notes' using more recent descriptions of computing machinery and programming methods. Bernard Sufrin 17 Dec 2015
17 Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace: two visions of computing Doron Swade, Royal Holloway, University of London reviews the trajectory of Babbage's calculating Engines and examines Ada Lovelace's contribution to computing. Doron Swade 17 Dec 2015
18 Creative Commons Introduction to the Ada Lovelace Symposium Alexander Wolf, President of the Association for Computing Machinery and Imperial College London, introduces the Ada Lovelace Symposium. Alexander Wolf 14 Dec 2015