The Computer History Museum (CHM), the world's leading institution exploring the history of computing and its ongoing impact on society, is honoring computer pioneer Ada Lovelace with a year of celebratory events, beginning with the launch of its newest exhibit, “Thinking Big: Ada, Countess of Lovelace.”
Open to the public on December 12, the exhibit celebrates the 200th birthday of English mathematician and visionary Ada Lovelace. Lovelace, often referred to as one of the first computer programmers, is perhaps best known for her close partnership with Charles Babbage and her visionary ideas about computers.
Drawing on the Lovelace papers held at the University of Oxford's Bodleian Libraries, CHM's exhibit showcases high-resolution facsimiles of letters, journals, mathematical notes, and Lovelace's correspondence with some of the era's foremost thinkers, like Charles Babbage and Augustus De Morgan, a leading mathematician. Additionally, the exhibit features rich graphics and a multimedia component where visitors can hear readings of four select letters that spotlight moments in Lovelace's life.
This is the first time the Bodleian has publicly released its collection of Lovelace papers, and the Museum is the only location in the United States where you can explore its extraordinary contents. Many of the papers not only offer new insight into Lovelace's life, but also into the birth of computational thinking. Of special interest is a manuscript that contains the handwriting of both Lovelace and Babbage, evidence of their trusted partnership. This document shows the pair working closely together and exchanging ideas about mathematical problems.
”Ada Lovelace is often recognized for her partnership with Charles Babbage, but she was also a woman of fierce originality and intellectual interests,” says Kirsten Tashev, VP of exhibitions and collections. “Lovelace she envisioned the future of computers as symbol manipulators as well as their far reaching creative possibilities. CHM's new exhibit uniquely explores both sides of Lovelace: the mathematician and the visionary.”
CHM is kicking off the exhibit opening with a private VIP event featuring Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube – the world's most popular digital video platform used by a billion people across the globe. In the spirit of Ada and “thinking big” Wojcicki will join Museum CEO John Hollar in an intimate, one-on-one conversation about her career, the role of women in technology today, the importance of encouraging young girls to pursue STEM-related careers, the future of computing and her own thoughts about what it means to “think big.”
Additional Lovelace-themed events and festivities will take place throughout the exhibit's opening weekend, including Adafest, a special community day where visitors can uncover the sights and styles of Victorian England and further explore Lovelace's life through storytelling, live demonstrations, and tours.
Major Funding for the “Thinking Big: Ada, Countess of Lovelace” is provided by ACM and Google.org
Thinking Big: Ada, Countess of Lovelace
December 12, 2015-December 11, 2016
Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View, CA 94043
(650) 810-1010 computerhistory.org
VIP Opening Reception:
Thinking Big with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki & Computer Pioneer Ada Lovelace
December 10, 2015
Adafest: Celebrate Computer Pioneer Ada Lovelace with a Day of Fun and Learning for All Ages
December 13, 2015, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
December 13, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. to Noon
CHM Presents: Thinking Big—Ada Lovelace: Mathematician and Visionary
January 19, 2016
The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, is a nonprofit organization with a four-decade history as the world's leading institution exploring the history of computing and its ongoing impact on society. The Museum is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computer history and is home to the largest international collection of computing artifacts in the world, encompassing computer hardware, software, documentation, ephemera, photographs, and moving images.
The Museum brings computer history to life through large-scale exhibits, an acclaimed speaker series, a dynamic website, docent-led tours, and an award-winning education program. The Museum's signature exhibition is “Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing,” described by USA Today as “the Valley's answer to the Smithsonian.” Other current exhibits include “Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2” and “Where To? A History of Autonomous Vehicles.” The Museum also provides engaging experiences through its IBM 1401 Demo Lab and PDP-1 Demo Lab, where visitors can see live demonstrations and observe historic computers and programs in action.