Fascinating Ada Meeting of Minds

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Three winners of the Fascinating Ada Competition designed to inspire female students about careers received their prizes at Oxford University this week and met two Colossus veterans.

At the Ada Lovelace Symposium, marking the bicentenary of the person widely acclaimed as the creator of the first-ever computer program, three young students aged between 5 and 18 received their prizes from two of the first operators of Colossus, the World War II code-breaking computer. (In the picture are left to right: Colossus veteran Irene Dixon with prize-winners with Ada Hards, Niamh Owens and Amelia Doran.)

The competition, run by The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) and the University of Oxford, in conjunction with cs4fn at Queen Mary University of London, asked girls what they would like to communicate to Ada Lovelace about twenty-first century technology. More than 250 entries were received and judged by a prestigious panel of women involved in computing today.

We will be announcing more about the competition and putting entries online in January.

Meantime, here is a BBC Radio Oxford interview Kat Orman interviews 91-year-old Irene Dixon, one of the first operators of Colossus, and 16-year-old fascinating Ada prize winner, Niamh Owens.

The interview starts at 1hr 31 mins in and runs for 20 minutes.

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