October 1, 2018, by jicke

Computer science laces event with STEM inspiration

Young women from across the region are being invited to a special event being hosted by the School of Computer Science as part of Ada Lovelace Day on the 9thOctober.

The event welcomes A-level students aged 16-18, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students. The aim of the day is to encourage more girls to consider subjects in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for their further education and careers.

Celebrating women’s achievements in STEM

Augusta Ada Lovelace, the ‘Countess of Computing’, was born in London on 10 December 1815. The daughter of Lord and Lady Byron, Ada Lovelace was a gifted mathematician. She is known for creating the first computer programme and foreseeing computers’ capabilities going beyond calculations. ‘Ada Lovelace Day’ is an annual international event carried out on the second Tuesday of each October and it is aims to celebrate women’s achievements in STEM.

The Ada Lovelace Day event in Computer Science will feature inspirational talks from representatives from industry and academia, including University of Nottingham Vice Chancellor, Professor Shearer West and Hannah Jeacock, Director of Research at MHR.

Building diverse teams

The event is being organised by Dr Mercedes Torres Torres, Transitional Assistant Professor in Data Analysis and Modelling, and Dr Carolina Fuentes, research fellow in the Mixed Reality Lab.

Dr Torres said: “We are interested in encouraging more women into science because we believe that diverse teams are better equipped to deal with the complexities of the real world, which require different perspectives and experiences. This is why it’s important to organise outreach activities that engage with young girls and women and bring them into contact with other women who already work in STEM. We hope to expose them to diverse role models for them to aspire to, and who can also provide inspiration.  We also want to celebrate women’s past and present achievements in science, which are often hidden or unrecognised, to show young girls that people like them changed the world before, and that they can aspire to this, too!”

Dr Fuentes continues: “We are planning a calendar of events that supports young girls and women through the academic year and encourages them to explore their interests in science and technology. One of these is the first Code First: Girls course at the University of Nottingham, aimed to train women in other fields in technical skills such as coding, and the next round of CodeDojo for young girls, aimed to encourage young girls to start programming.”

Industry supporting women in science

The Ada Lovelace Day could not have been possible without the support of the following sponsors: MHR, GitHub, Refinitiv, Experian, and P&G.

MHR is the main Industry Sponsor of the event and MHR’s research director Hannah Jeacock, is an advocate of girls and women pursuing careers in STEM. She says: “Technology is a fast growing sector but one that is often overlooked by women, so we are very proud to be sponsoring this Ada Lovelace Day event at the University of Nottingham. I hope that we inspire more girls and young women to increase the numbers studying STEM subjects. Innovation is critical to MHR’s success, which is why we invest up to 20 percent of our total revenue into research and development every year, with current projects involving machine learning, artificial intelligence and bot technology. Due to success in my team and the wider business, I would encourage more women to look at the range of technology roles available, and the development opportunities within them.”

All sponsors will have stands during the whole day where they will provide information on current and future opportunities.

The event is free to attend and runs from 9:30am – 3:30pm. To register go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ada-lovelace-day-at-the-school-of-computer-science-uon-tickets-49338132683


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