School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

EECS Flagship Seminars Series Launch by the women who changed the face of computer science in the UK

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24 February 2016

Time: 5:00 - 8:00pm
Venue: Senior Common Room Queens' Building Mile End Rd London E1 4NS

Eventbrite - The Scientific life of Ada Lovelace

EECS Flagship Seminar Series launch event on February 24th will be delivered by the trailblazer Professor Ursula Martin, a woman who changed the face of computer science in the UK

This new series of free public lectures on subjects of general interest in information engineering and science. National and international leaders in information technology discuss important issues relevant to everybody in the twenty-first century. Hosted by the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London, and generously sponsored by IBM.


Ada, Countess of Lovelace (1815-1852) is best known for a remarkable article about Babbage’s unbuilt computer, the Analytical Engine. This not only presented the first documented computer program, but also, going well beyond Babbage’s ideas of computers as manipulating numbers, outlined their creative possibilities and the limits of what they could do. Lovelace’s contribution was highlighted in one of Alan Turing’s most famous papers “Can a machine think?”.

The comprehensive archive of Lovelace’s papers preserved in Oxford’s Bodleian Library displays Lovelace’s wide scientific interests in everything from geology to acoustics to chemistry to mesmerism to photography; her exchanges with leading scientists such as Faraday, Babbage and Somerville; her correspondence course in mathematics with De Morgan, a leading mathematician of the day and pioneer in logic and algebra; and her grasp of the potential of mathematics whether to model a “calculus of the nervous system” or as a uniting link between the material and symbolic worlds.

In this talk we start to explore Lovelace, her background, her scientific idea and her contemporary legacy


Professor Ursula Martin CBE is a Professor in the Mathematical Institute and Department of Computer Science in the University of Oxford, and a Senior Research Fellow at Wadham College Oxford. She has worked in algebra, combinatorics and logic, and currently with sociologists to understand patterns of mathematical collaboration. In 2015 she curated the bicentenary display of Lovelace’s papers at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Further information about the event.

Event Information

When: Wednesday 24 February 2016 from 17:00 to 20:00 (GMT)

Where Senior Common Room, Queens’ Building - Queen Mary University of London. Mile End Rd. London, London E1 4NS GB

Crèche available, but booking essential by 15 February 2016

To Register for the event