Happy 200th Birthday Ada Lovelace!

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10th of December, is the birthday of one of THE most influential women in history called: “Ada Lovelace”. This year we are celebrating her 200th birthday. She died at the age of 36 but achieved A LOT within this short period of life span. She is known as:

          • The mother of computer programming
          • The first computer programmer in the world: the woman who wrote first ever computer program long before the computers even existed 🙂

          • “The first person to understand what a computer could do” Suw Charman Anderson, founder of Ada Lovelace Day.

And many other achievements… Today we all celebrate women in science, technology, engineering and maths thanks to this inspiring women. 15th of October is Ada Lovelace Day where wide range of events take place across the world to commemorate Ada. But today people are cheering up and organising birthday parties wherever they are to commemorate Ada again.

I first met with “Ada” thanks to my childhood friend. She gave a name “Ada” to her lovely tortoise  and when I asked why, what does it mean; she replied back saying “she is the first computer programmer in the world”. My friend was just started to study computer engineering at that time, when I was preparing for OSS exam which was like a GCSE exam of Turkey for university entrance. I was quite surprised as a 17 year old girl learning that a woman was the first person who wrote a computer program as computing is such a men dominated field. I’ve started to know more about Ada when I also became an undergraduate student in computing. During my undergraduate years I was actively part of a student club called “BilWiC” which stands for Bilkent University Women in Computing.

I want to write about an inspiring women in this field for me. Reyyan Ayfer who mentored me, supervised me and taught me… She truly devotes herself for women in technology/computing  not only in Turkey but also worldwide.

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The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI), based in Palo Alto, California, announced that Reyyan Ayfer was one of three recipients of the Anita Borg Change Agent Awards for 2008.The Institute called Ayfer “a highly respected scientist who is dedicated to addressing the challenges of advancing a complex society as Turkey.” Calling her “a true pioneer”, they said her participation “will help bridge women technologists in the United States and abroad.” Accepting an international award for innovation in technology, Reyyan Ayfer, chair of the computer technology and programming department at Bilkent University was my mentor who I still in touch not just as a mentor but as a true friend and life-coach… As mentioned by the institute she really dedicated herself for advancing complex Turkish society in the worldwide campaign of women in computing. Thanks to her I also become passionate for advocating women in computing whenever and wherever I can. Thank you Reyyan Hocam for helping me to meet with women in tech, and teaching me how important to grow in this field as well as helping others to grow in too.

 

 

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