Our Next Joint Meeting with the Baltimore SIGAda Chapter
is scheduled for
Tuesday, 14 September 2004 at 7:30 P.M.
There will be a Screening of the Film
To Dream Tomorrow
The story of Ada Bryon Lovelace, the World's First Programmer
at the Baltimore SIGAda Venue
(Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland)
The screening will start at 7:30 P.M. (Refreshments and Social at 7:00 P.M.) at the Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland
Munchies and soft drinks will be served at 7:00 PM, the general meeting will start at 7:30 PM, followed by the program.
To Dream Tomorrow, the newest of Flare's Women of Power documentary films, is the story of Ada Byron Lovelace, her work with Charles Babbage, and their contributions to computing over a hundred years before the time usually thought to be the start of the Computer Age. Daughter of a mathematically gifted, social activist mother and the "mad, bad and dangerous to know" poet, Lord Byron, Ada's life was unconventional, daring, and short. Possessed of enormous energy and talent, she faced some daunting obstacles -- both in her personal life and the society of her time -- as she fought to work professionally and make a contribution to science and mathematics.
Ada was just 17 when she met Babbage and became intrigued by the workings of a mechanical calculator he had designed. Though as a woman she was barred from universities and scientific libraries, Ada continued her mathematical studies, encouraged by Babbage, who brought her into contact with leading scientists of the day. These included the famous science writer, Mary Somerville; Michael Faraday, Isabard Kingdom Brunel, and Charles Wheatstone. The group discussed with Babbage his idea of the "Analytical Engine," a powerful new calculator he was designing to have a central processor --the "Mill" --divided from the "Store" where data would be kept. It could be programmed to perform any calculation.
Would the government fund such a huge and costly machine? And, if this general-purpose computing machine were built, would it work? a distracted and embattled Prime Minister rejected Babbage's request for further funding, claiming that a computing machine would be "worthless as far as science is concerned." To help garner support to build the Analytical Engine, Ada sprang into action to describe how such a machine would function. In the Notes, published when she was 27, she went even beyond her famous contemporaries in articulating the concept of symbolic manipulation that would lead beyond number-crunching to applications that are only now, in our own time, beginning to be fully realized.
Please see http://www.mith.umd.edu/flare/lovelace/ for more information by the producers of the film.
This film received the ****Best of Festival Award for Documentary at the 10th Annual Berkeley Video & Film Festival for 2003.
This is a film you will find to be extremely enjoyable regardless of any computer background; Spouses are encouraged to attend. The movie is 52 minutes.
FYI, SIGAda has purchased a DVD and the rights to screen the film at SIGAda sponsored events. If you are interested in hosting such a SIGAda event, please contact. Mr. Currie Colket at (703) 883-7381.
Detailed Directions and Maps are available at: http://www.acm.org/sigada/locals/dc/Directions_JHU_APL.html
At the DC SIGAda meeting on 13 May 2004, Dr. Alfred Kromholz of MITRE gave an excellent presentation titled: Mapping Software Assurance to the Software Engineering Process. Slides from his presentation are available online as a PPS Presentation at http://www.acm.org/sigada/locals/dc/20040513_Alfred_Kromholz.pps (ppt, 331KB).
Please provide suggestions on the Web site and its contents. We are particularly interested in ways the DC SIGAda Home Page can serve you better.
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Please forward this message to people who might be interested in attending. We welcome all new members as our attendance and interests grow.
Many thanks to all earlier participants, contributors, speakers, advisors, and friends, who are involved in helping to produce and attend the meetings.
Jeff Castellow, Chair, DC SIGAda
If you have comments or suggestions, email the DC SIGAda Webmaster
updated 12 September 2004