Beginning at age seven, Elena Piscopia received tutoring in the classical languages of Latin and Greek, as well as grammar and music. In addition to speaking both Latin and Greek fluently, Elena mastered Hebrew, Spanish, French, and Arabic. Her command of languages brought the title Oraculum Septilingue. Elena also exhibited marvelous reasoning powers. She was a student of the sciences as well as of languages, and she studied mathematics and astronomy in addition to philosophy and theology. Elena’s greatest love was for philosophy and theology. In 1672 Elena’s father sent her to the distinguished University of Padua to continue her studies.
Elena Piscopia did not seek degrees from the University of Padua; she simply wanted to continue her learning. However, Giovanni Cornaro insisted that the world recognize his daughter’s incredible knowledge. Thus, at his insistence, Elena applied for a Doctorate of Theology degree from the University of Padua. Her application met with resistance. Officials in the Roman Catholic Church refused to confer the title of Doctor of Theology upon a woman. Elena applied, again, at her father’s insistence. This time the Church compromised and allowed Elena Piscopia to apply for a Doctorate of Philosophy instead.
Elena Piscopia’s Examination for the Doctor of Philosophy degree was to be held in the University Hall of the University of Padua, but due to the multitude of spectators it was transferred to the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin, Padua. Throughout her examination, Elena’s brilliant answers amazed and awed her examiners, who determined that her vast knowledge surpassed the Doctorate of Philosophy. On June 25, 1678 Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia received the Doctorate of Philosophy degree from the University of Padua. At age thirty-two she was the first woman in the world to receive a doctorate degree. In addition to the doctorate degree, Elena Piscopia received the Doctor’s Ring, the Teacher’s Ermine cape, and the Poet’s Laurel Crown.
Remember Dr. Christiaan Barnard? Old Chris became a mega-star in 1967 when he performed the world’s first heart transplant. (With his thick South African accent, he pronounced it “hod tronsblond.”) The lucky-ish recipient, a 54-year-old grocer named Louis Washkansky, lived for 18 days, during which time the handsome Dr. B. sliced and cauterized his way onto the cover of Time magazine and into our hearts. He became as celebrated as Bob Dylan. Hard to imagine, right?
We are living in an everyone-is-special-and-there-are-no-losers society. As a result, we are fearful of accomplished people because they can do stuff that we cannot do, and giving them the spotlight would un-level the playing field. We are, as a result, much more comfortable with the famous-for-nothing paradigm, because then, we, the great unexceptional masses, still have shot at celebrity.
The computer was invented in the 30s: not the 1930s, but the 1830s. British mathematician Charles Babbage designed and prototyped a fully functional mechanical computer he called the Analytical Engine, but it was never completed. Now a team in Britain plans to build the machine for display at London’s Science Museum before the 2030s come around.
This week on the NewsHour, we examine why women lag behind in some areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics(also known as STEM) and what we lose by losing women in the hard sciences. Join us for a live chat at noon ET Friday, April 27, with Judy Woodruff on what can be done to encourage more young women to pursue careers in STEM fields. Submit your questions below or tweet them to@NewsHour using the hashtag #WomenInSTEM.
When they appear on stage, Heather Knight, a robotics graduate student, and Data, her stand-up-comedy-performing robot, seem like a futuristic Odd Couple. Ms. Knight is tall, blond and human while Data—sheathed in a white plastic shell and about a third her size—resembles a RoboCop action figure.
Data plays the feisty star; Ms. Knight takes on the role of the “straight man.” At a performance last year, Data, perched on a stool, waved to the crowd. “I would say it’s a pleasure to be here, but I am a robot and don’t know emotion,” he said in a fittingly electronic voice. Then he turned his head slowly toward Ms. Knight and pointed at her with his left arm. “Heather, how about you get working on that emotion program?” he asked. “I am, Data!” she responded, in a mock-defensive tone.
Today, in conjunction with Hacker School, Etsy is announcing a new scholarship and sponsorship program for women in technology: we’ll be hosting the summer 2012 session of Hacker School in the Etsy headquarters, and we’re providing ten Etsy Hacker Grants of $5,000 each — a total of $50,000 — to women who want to join but need financial support to do so. Our goal is to bring 20 women to New York to participate, and we hope this will be the first of many steps to encourage more women into engineering at Etsy and across the industry.
A strange and fascinating piece of abstract electronic music surfaces in a key sequence in The Hunger Games. The track “Sediment,” used to great effect during the movie’s “cornucopia scene,” was composed in 1972 by pioneering composer Laurie Spiegel, who used an analog synthesizer and old-school tape machines to create the sweeping, nine-minute epic.
Scientists are a famously anonymous lot, but few can match in the depths of her perverse and unmerited obscurity the 20th-century mathematical genius Amalie Noether. Albert Einstein called her the most “significant” and “creative” female mathematician of all time, and others of her contemporaries were inclined to drop the modification by sex. She invented a theorem that united with magisterial concision two conceptual pillars of physics: symmetry in nature and the universal laws of conservation. Some consider Noether’s theorem, as it is now called, as important as Einstein’s theory of relativity; it undergirds much of today’s vanguard research in physics, including the hunt for the almighty Higgs boson. Yet Noether herself remains utterly unknown, not only to the general public, but to many members of the scientific community as well.
Stephanie Kwolek is the chemist who invented Kevlar in 1965.
She started working as a chemist in 1946 just to earn enough money to go to medical school, to fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a doctor. She soon fell in love with the work, though, which combined her interests in science and textiles.
One of very few female chemists working at Dupont, Stephanie was passionate about discovering new ways of working with synthetic fibers. She volunteered in 1964 for a project none of her colleagues seemed interested in: searching for a strong but lightweight fiber to use in tires.
While experimenting, Stephanie created a strange solution that was very different from ones she’d created before. It should have been a clear, thick fluid, like nylon polymer, but instead was thin and cloudy. “I think someone who wasn’t thinking very much or just wasn’t aware or took less interest in it, would have thrown it out.” But her curiousity and passion for discovery won out.
Although tech industry women like Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and HP’s Meg Whitman deserve praise for their leadership, the tech world needs more coder role models like Google’s Marisa Mayer. Only then are we ever going to convince the next generation that computer science isn’t just for boys.
Because it takes time. It wasn’t until the 1970s that Babbage’s contributions were fully understood (see Bruce Collier’s thesis), and until the 1980s that his plans had been deciphered by the likes of Allan Bromley. Only then could the Difference Engine No. 2 be constructed. It was finished in 1991. In many ways, The Difference Engine No. 2 was an ‘easy’ project because Babbage had left complete plans for it. The Analytical Engine is a different matter.
Babbage left multiple plans for the Analytical Engine and was constantly refining its design up until his death. To build the Analytical Engine first requires a research project to figure out which plan to build from.
A large format 8×10 acrylic plate intaglio test using the Speedball black ink on card stock. The expanses of solid color are difficult to fill cleanly; perhaps cross hatches would be better suited for the intaglio printing process. The image was commissioned by The Ada Initiative and created by Colin Adams. Here are more details on the how the plates and prints are made.
NEW PRODUCT – Ada Lovelace, large, oval black and white – Sticker! Celebrate Lady Ada Lovelace, one of the world’s first computer programmers. Adafruit offers a fun and exciting stickers to celebrate achievement for electronics, science and engineering. We believe everyone should be able to be rewarded for learning a useful skill, a badge is just one of the many ways to show and share.
Here are some Ada-related facts, events and organizations.
Who was Ada? Ada Lovelace Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852) was one of the world’s first computer programmers, and one of the first people to see computers as more than just a machine for doing sums. She wrote programs for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, a general-purpose computing machine, despite the fact that it was never built. She also wrote the very first description of a computer and of software.
The Ada Initiative is a non-profit organization that seeks to increase women’s participation in the free culture movement, open source technology and culture. Founded in 2011 by Linux kernel developer and open source advocate Valerie Aurora and open source developer and fellow advocate Mary Gardiner, the organization is named for Ada Lovelace, the “world’s first computer programmer.”
Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging (videologging, podcasting, comic drawing etc.!) to draw attention to the achievements of women in technology and science.
Art licensed as: This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.
Perfect for laptops or the workbench.
These gorgeous stickers are glossy, vinyl and made to last a lifetime. Made with printing/vinyl machines that are solar powered and using the most green friendly supplies as possible.
MADE IN THE USA!
Adafruit’s stickers are manufactured in partnership with AMBRO Manufacturing located in NJ, USA. AMBRO is a family owned and operated business since 1990 that celebrates open-source with Adafruit Industries. You can meet their team here. AMBRO uses non-toxic soy based, water soluble and environmentally friendly printing supplies, threads and more when possible. AMBRO has over 250 solar panels that generate 50,000 Kilowatt hours per year. Their equipment runs solar powered, so the wonderful things AMBRO and Adafruit have worked together on are made with the sun! AMBRO Manufacturing was recognized by Impressions Magazine, a leading trade publication in the garment printing and embroidery business, who published an article highlighting AMBRO and their commitment to their environmentally focused manufacturing practices. Adafruit knows you have a lot of choices as to where you spend your money and time, we hope our open-source values, commitment to green technologies and partners helps make the decision easier and fun!