The women who shaped science: Ada Lovelace – The first programmer

Ada Augusta Byron, the Countess of Lovelace, was born in London on December 10th 1815. She was the daughter of the celebrated English poet Lord Byron and Lady Anne Isabella Milbanke Byron. Her father moved away shortly after Ada’s birth when her parents separated. Her mother Lady Byron, who was a mathematician, brought her up. Ada had an unconventional upbringing for a noble woman of her time, encouraged to study science and mathematics, fields which were exclusively reserved for men. Continue reading

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The women who shaped science: Maria Mitchell – The first female astronomer in the US

Maria Mitchell was born in Nantucket on November 1st, 1818. She was one of nine children to William and Lydia Mitchell and was raised as a Quaker. At a young age she already exhibited an avid curiosity and a passion for learning. As a Quaker, her parents believed in equal rights in the education of both men and women. Her father was an astronomer and a teacher, and had a meaningful impact on Maria’s curiosity for the stars by giving her first telescope and having her assist him in his work. Continue reading