Skip to main content

Ada Lovelace Symposium 2015


An interdisciplinary symposium celebrating the life and legacy of Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) will take place at the Mathematics Institute, University of Oxford, on the 9th and 10th December 2015. Ada Lovelace is best known for her remarkable article about Charles Babbage’s unbuilt computer, the Analytical Engine, and the symposium will present Lovelace’s life and work in the context of nineteenth century mathematics, science and culture, and present-day thinking on computing and artificial intelligence. 

Speakers include: computer scientists John Barnes, Adrian Johnstone, Ursula Martin, Bernard Sufrin and Moshe Vardi; historians of computing and mathematics June Barrow Green, Elizabeth Bruton, Judith Grabiner, Christopher Hollings and Doron Swade; Lovelace scholars Imogen Forbes-Macphail, Julia Markus, and Betty Toole; historian and biographer Richard Holmes, and graphic artist Sydney Padua.  Participants in a panel on female icons include computer scientists Valerie Barr and Muffy Calder, founder of Ada Lovelace Day Suw Charman-Anderson, mathematician Cheryl Praeger, and cultural historian Murray Pittock.

A reception and dinner in Balliol College on the 9th December includes a pre-dinner address by Lovelace’s descendant the Earl of Lytton, and an after-dinner speech by philanthropist Dame Stephanie Shirley. Registration for the symposium: £40, or £90 including the symposium dinner. Some sponsored places are available. For further information and registration please see

A display at the Bodleian Library (13th October – 18th December) incudes Lovelace’s exercise books, childhood letters, correspondence with Charles Babbage, a newly-found daguerreotype, and a new archive discovery showing computational thinking in action – Lovelace, Babbage, magic squares, and networks.

This event has been made possible thanks to the generous support by ACM, AHRC, British Computer Society, Clay Mathematics Institute, EPSRC, Google, IMA, London Mathematical Society, and Queen Mary University of London’s cs4fn project.

For further information please contact Professor Ursula Martin CBE, Chair, Ada Lovelace Celebration 2015 on