Graduate Workshop

Texts and contexts: the cultural legacies of Ada Lovelace

‘That brain of mine is more than merely mortal; as time will show.’

A workshop for graduate students and early career researchers

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Mathematics Institute and St Anne’s College, Oxford

9.30am to 6pm

Registration (free to all) is open for both speakers and non-speakers. Registration is now closed. 

The full programme is available here: Lovelace Graduate Workshop

For a full list of abstracts and speaker bios please see the following web address:

The mathematician Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), daughter of poet Lord Byron, is celebrated as a pioneer of computer science. The notes she added to her translation of Luigi Menabrea’s paper on Charles Babbage’s analytical engine (1843) are considered to contain a prototype computer program. During her short life, Lovelace not only contributed original ideas to the plans for this early computer; she also imagined wider possibilities for the engine, such as its application to music, and meditated on its limitations. Lovelace leaves a legacy not just as a computer scientist, but also as a muse for literary writers, a model to help us understand the role of women in science in the nineteenth century, and an inspiration for neo-Victorian and steampunk traditions.

As part of the University of Oxford’s celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of Lovelace’s birth, this one-day workshop will bring together graduates and early career researchers to discuss the varied cultural legacies of this extraordinary mathematician. The day will feature a keynote address from Professor Sharon Ruston (Lancaster University), and an expert panel including graphic novelist Sydney Padua and biographers Richard Holmes and Miranda Seymour.