CU’s Gemmill Library of Engineering, Mathematics and Physics celebrated Ada Lovelace Day by inviting students to create or update Wikipedia articles about women in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.
Ada Lovelace was an English mathematician from the 19th century who worked on the analytical engine, an early mechanical form of the computer. She is credited as the first computer programmer and is often used as a symbol of women’s importance to the STEM fields.
“Today’s event is really to increase the profile of women in STEM by adding or editing articles in Wikipedia,” said Mark Locy, outreach and student success specialist. “Wikipedia has a whole project where they want to increase the number of articles that they have about women scientists, so we’re glomming on to that and saying ‘Hey, come to this event and we’ll show you how to create/edit/update an article.’ ”
The staff hosted the event in one of the library’s rooms, offering coffee and refreshments to students who participated. They used books from the library as well as encyclopedias, obituaries and scholarly databases to find information for their articles. The women expanded articles on influential female STEM trailblazers like Gladys Hobby, a microbiologist who contributed to the development of penicillin, and Arete of Cyrene, a 4th-century Greek philosopher.
“I think it fits really nicely with the library because Wikipedia’s a major information source that people use all the time, and we can help make it better with the resources we have,” said Rebecca Kuglitsch, head of the Gemmill Library.
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