October 6, 2017, by Meghan Gray

Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day 2017

We’re pleased to be hosting two events in honour of Ada Lovelace Day:  an annual international event celebrating achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, and math.  (We’ve spoken previously about Nottingham native Ada Lovelace and her contributions to computer science here).

Admission free, all are welcome!

Where can a physics degree take you?

In our “Careers in Physics Panel Discussion” we have a number of distinguished speakers who will discuss how their studies in physics opened doors to a range of academic and industrial careers.

Tuesday 10th October 2017
16:00 – 18:00
C5 Physics

  • Dawn Watson, BSc Environmental Physics, MBA –> Project Manager at Sellafield Ltd
  • Dr. Karen Mullinger, BSc Physics with Medical Physics –> joint lectureship in medical physics (Nottingham and Birmingham)
  • Alex Milligan, postgraduate MSc, Physics and Technology of Nuclear Reactors –> Reactor Physics Design Team, Rolls Royce

School Colloquium

Wednesday 11th October 2017
16:00 – 17:00
B13 Physics

Dr Karen Masters, Portsmouth University
Mary Somerville and the Mechanism of the Heavens

Mary Somerville was a Scottish mathematical astronomer and science writer who was roughly contemporary with Jane Austen. At a time when even upper class women were often never formally schooled, and certainly not in mathematics or astronomy she first discovered algebra when reading a women’s fashion magazine at a society tea party, and was allowed to embark on a study of geometry only to improve her painting. She went on to become one of the UK’s most famous scientists (in fact the word was coined to describe her, since she clearly wasn’t a “man of science”), and most famous published an English translation of LaPlace’s “Mechanique Celeste” (the Mechanism of the Heavens”) which became the standard University textbook for Calculus, as well as writing a book on “The Connection of the Physical Sciences” which is credited for setting out the current array science topics we call physics. I was shocked to discover Mary Somerville only 5 years ago, and have had great fun learning more about her as I worked on a book Chapter about her life: “Mary Somerville and the Mechanisms of the Heavens”, which is part of “More Passion for Science: Journeys into the Unknown” published by the Ada Lovelace Day group in support of their work to raise the profile of women in STEM.


Poster describing details of Ada Lovelace Day celebrations at the University of Nottingham
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