Today is International Ada Lovelace Day, a day of blogging in celebration of women in science and technology. I’ve blogged a few times before about women in these areas including the myth of the computer science gene and women and open source.
She led a pretty amazing life and is one of the reasons I am writing this blog on my lap-top on my sofa (well, her and my utter laziness)
10 Facts about her:
- Born in 1914 in Vienna, her name was Hedwig
- Her mother was a pianist and her father a bank director.
- Her film career was stifled by her controlling husband, an arms manufacturer, so instead she set about learning about military technology.
- Although her husband was half-Jewish (she was also Jewish), he hung out with Hitler and Mussolini. This obviously didn’t sit easy with her and so she disguised herself as one of the maids and fled to Paris where she got a divorce and moved on to London.
- He was the first of six husbands.
- In London and then Hollywood, she went back to making films but got into developing a secret communication system with her neighbour, the avant garde composer George Antheil, after getting into a conversation about radio controlled torpedos.
- Her idea of “frequency hopping” was completely new and Antheil’s contribution was the suggested device for synchronization.
- It was ahead of its time but ended up becoming the basis of modern spread-spectrum communication technology such as most WiFi networks.
- She died in 2000 and in 2003, Boeing ran an ad campaign featuring her as a woman of science, not referring to her acting career.
- In 2005, the first ‘Inventors Day’ was held in German-speaking countries on 9 November, her birthday.
I think, I think I love her.