Evelyn Boyd Granville: my nomination for Ada Lovelace Day

For my Ada Lovelace pledge – to highlight a woman in technology whom I admire – I’m going for Evelyn Boyd Granville. To get your doctorate at Yale becoming one of the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D in mathematics; to do so at such an Ivy League college; to work on both the Mercury Project and the Apollo Project is pushing out the envelope and then some – for anyone.

To do all this as both a woman and a black women – amazing. As she put it when asked to summarise her achievements: “First of all, showing that women can do mathematics … [and], being an African American woman, letting people know that we have brains too.”

Way to go!

Ada Lovelace Day

Been emailed to highlight an excellent idea – Ada Lovelace Day. As the blog post that kicked it off says:

I’ve mainly stayed away from the discussion of gender issues in technology. I didn’t think that I had any real expertise to share. But over the last six months, after many conversations, it has become clear that many of my female friends in tech really do feel disempowered

Thus was born Ada Lovelace Day, and this pledge:

Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology. Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines. Whatever she does, whether she is a sysadmin or a tech entrepreneur, a programmer or a designer, developing software or hardware, a tech journalist or a tech consultant, we want to celebrate her achievements.

It doesn’t matter how new or old your blog is, what gender you are, what language you blog in, or what you normally blog about – everyone is invited to take part. All you need to do is sign up to this pledge and then publish your blog post any time on Tuesday 24th March 2009. If you’re going to be away that day, feel free to write your post in advance and set your blogging system to publish it that day.

More about the idea behind the day here, along with how you can take part / publicise.