School girls visited Informatics on Ada Lovelace Day
In October the School of Informatics celebrated Ada Lovelace Day by inviting teenage girls to try to be a computer scientists for a day.
S2 and S3 girls from two North Lanarkshire high schools: Coatbridge High and Coltness High came all the way to Edinburgh to get a taste of what it’s like to be a computer scientist. On arrival they were introduced to Valkyrie and ANYmal, two robots from the Edinburgh Centre’s for Robotics Robotarium, now located on the ground floor of the Bayes Centre. They met with Professor Jane Hillston, current Head of School of Informatics, who told them about the breadth of research in the School and the opportunities for the young scientists. Adela Rotar, one of our Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science students, told them about the student’s life. Then girls took part in two hands-on workshops: on online security, delivered by Kami Vaniea and robotics, delivered by students from EaRS. The day was fully packed, but the girls enjoyed it very much.
Earlier in the month the School hosted two visit from St George's School for Girls, who came to listen to Professor Sethu Vijayakumar’s talk about the robots of the future. The girls were also given a tour of the Robotarium and talked to robotics students and staff about the robots they are working with.
Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron is celebrated as a first female computer scientist. She had no access to formal school or university education but studied science and mathematics from a young age. She became fascinated by the computing machines devised by Charles Babbage. A table of mathematical formulae sometimes called the ‘first programme’ occurs in her 1843 paper about his most ambitious invention, his unbuilt ‘Analytical Engine.’ Her birthday (9th October) is dedicated to women in science, technology, engineering and maths and creating new role models for girls and women in these fields.