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Salon: Ada Lovelace “Enchantress of Numbers”

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Sunday, January 11, 2015 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Historian, Victoria Law, will speak about the important history of Ada Lovelace (considered by many to be the first computer programmer). Ada Lovelace Day, which this year falls on October 13th, was established in 2009 and has developed into an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Ada Augusta Byron, the Countess of Lovelace, born in 1815, had the genius and vision to see the possibilities for computers that none of her contemporaries, male or female, could see. The daughter of the famous English poet, Lord Byron, Ada’s deep understanding of mathematics gave her an intuitive understanding of the first computer, Babbage’s Analytical Engine. A visionary from the Age of Steam, Ada also had a cautionary note for the future with an objection to Artificial Intelligence that Alan Turing named the “Lovelace Objection.”
Victoria Law is the past President of the Ashland History & Railroad Museum located in Ashland, Oregon. After retiring from a career as a computer programmer and systems analyst, Victoria returned to college and graduated cum laude with a Bachelors of Arts in History from Southern Oregon University. Since that time she has been active in the arts community in Ashland, serving on the board of Southern Oregon Historical Society and the Ashland Historic Commission. Ms. Law's primary interest is the history of technology and the many ways in which technology transcends culture.