Category: Science

Azalea & Ada

Today is Ada Lovelace day, a day “about sharing stories of women — whether engineers, scientists, technologists or mathematicians — who have inspired you to become who you are today”. Lovelace was an incredible woman, described by Charles Babbage as “The Enchantress of Numbers”, and one of the first people to think about the kind of concepts that became integral to modern computer science. Through her understanding of Babbage’s Analytical Engine (a complex invention that was never built, but had many of the crucial features of a programmable computer) she wrote the first computer programs for a machine that didn’t exist. I wrote about how amazing she was as part of a piece for I, Science.

Today is about Ada, but it is also about celebrating inspirational women in science and technology, and given her huge input to my entire education, as well as ANGELINA itself, it seems foolish not to write something today about Azalea Raad.

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Are You A Scientist? Get In Here.

For the last two weeks I’ve been answering questions and chatting with schoolkids as part of I’m A Scientist, Get Me Out Of Here! and today I discovered I was the last scientist standing in my zone, and I’ve won funding to put towards science communication! IAS 2012 was a really great experience, and if you’re a scientist – in any field, doing any form of work – you should think about taking part.

Below, I’ve written a bit about the event, some misconceptions I had before taking part, and why I think it’s important you sign up.

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Science Journalism & Us

A lot of very mad things happened in the past 24 hours, most of which I’m trying to document on ANGELINA’s ‘In The Press’ page, but in short – Engadget, Kotaku, The Verge, New Scientist… the list goes on. Lots of people have been talking about ANGELINA, and I’ve been getting a huge amount of traffic over here. I just wanted to spend a few hundred words explaining why this matters to people like me, and why I’m so grateful when things like this happen.

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The New Scientist & Other Stories

This week ANGELINA and I are featured in the Tech section of UK science magazine The New Scientist, which is a huge honour and was a huge amount of fun to do. As part of the interview, we made a platform game for their site in the same vein as the Santa games you might have played back in December. I made a few tweaks to the system to improve the layout of powerups and general map design – I really recommend you go check the game out! The game may appear up here eventually, but if the New Scientist link continues to work I will probably leave it only on their site.

The New Scientist exposure had also led to a bunch of other mentions of ANGELINA all over the net. I’m really honoured! Check out the Press page for more. Meanwhile, here’s what’s going on with the project…

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I’m giving one of the Advanced Object-Oriented Programming lectures to Imperial’s first-year Computing students next week. Definitely looking forward to it, and I hope they enjoy the talk I’ve got in store. I also thought I’d digest it and post it up here, as it neatly does something I’ve been wanting to do for a while on the blog – discuss the basics of evolution that underpin ANGELINA.

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