Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Wonder Woman

lovelace Today, as Bob's blog reminds us, is Ada Lovelace Day.

Daughter of the poet Lord Byron, she wrote the world's first computer programmes for Charles Babbage's 'analytical engine'

On this day, we are invited to celebrate our 'tech heroines'. It seems quite hard to find females involved in pioneer technology - most of the people I swap technology jokes with tend to be blokes! But I nominate Mrs Marion Gosling, my maths teacher at East Dereham High School For Girls [1966-1963] who really encouraged me, in both maths and physics. I have no photograph of her - but lots of brilliant memories. She not only managed to teach us the O level and A level curriculum [and S level, which was even harder] but also threw in loads of extra fun stuff about logic and circuits and switches. She believed it was perfectly OK for a woman's handbag to contain a screwdriver rather than a lipstick. We need more inspirational teachers like her.


I notice Bob hasn't named his modern tech heroine. I knew he wouldn't choose Carol Vorderman - but I quite thought he would make reference to this female. When I am out at my [low-tech] knitting group, I know he enjoys watching the [high-tech] Gadget Show with Suzi Perry!


  1. Hi, I think its mainly a Southern US thing. I always called it a pocketbook, but people in other parts of the us called it a handbag or purse. The thing inside with money, change and credit cards is called a wallet or change purse here. I wondered too why I always call it a pocketbook, so googled it. Here is the link for the answer: http://www.nytimes.com/1993/11/14/magazine/on-language-get-off-my-laptop.html

    Thanks for your comment and question!

  2. Wow, you managed S level physics - I'm well impressed! My claim to fame was being the first girl in my school to pass A level physics (with a lousy grade but, hey).

    Marie Curie is a good hero - not least as she one two Nobel prizes in two different fields (Physics 1903, chemistry 1911).

    If it counts I have a degree in engineering. Alas my decent science/maths teachers were all male. Now of course I've just side-stepped into another male preserve!! But at least in this one I do have some female role models to recall and celebrate.

  3. Catriona - Sorry if I misled you there - I did S level Maths in the lower 6th and Pure Maths in the Upper 6th. Never did Physics past A level [married a Physicist instead]
    Debbie - thanks for your comment and helpful answer to the question I posed on your blog!

  4. Hey Angela, still mega respect if you did S levels at all (my excuse of course, we did SMP maths which didn't offer an S level so I couldn't have done it if I'd wanted to).

    Must be time you put some more mathematical fun on you blog?


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