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ada lovelace day

Ada Lovelace was Lord Byron’s only daughter, which in itself would make her awesome.

However, she was also one of the world’s first computer programmers, and one of the first people to see computers as more than just a machine for doing sums. She was a visionary, as she realized how much potential computers had and thought of ways they could be used in our everyday lives in the future.

Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging and such to draw attention to the achievements of women in technology and science.

One is supposed to pick a woman who has made an important contribution in her area, or simply someone in your life you admire (a mother or grandmother, maybe).

I checked out and a few other sites and noticed two things:

1. There were no pledges to blog about ada lovelace day south of the globe, and

2. The list of ideas of women to write about included no-one from psychology (or psychoanalysis and related areas).

So my feminist side decided I couldn’t leave things at that. I did another bit of research (and confess I didn’t know many women in psychology other than Anna Freud or Melanie Klein) and decided Mary Calkins is definately worth knowing (and writing) about.

Mary Whiton Calkins made contributions in psychology such as inventing the paired-associate technique and developing self-psychology.

She was one of those typical cases - she attended Harvard as a “guest” of none other than William James. However, she was denied her doctorate degree for the president would not allow her to be a registered student.

Despite her struggles she did not give up her studies and also became an activist for women’s rights.

Today, she is best known for becoming the first woman president of the American Psychological Association. (We all love “firsts”)

Yay women psychologists and yay activists, thanks for helping me get where I am today!

- Renata

  1. tufis posted this