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Computer Science & AI

Ada Lovelace Distinguished Lecture Series

The Ada Lovelace Distinguished Lecture Series brings outstanding computer scientists from around the world to Leiden University. The lecturers will share exciting ideas and results from the forefront of computer science.

The Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) organises the Ada Lovelace Lectures approximately twice a year. Apart from computer scientists, alumni and students of computer science, anyone else with a serious interest in the field is invited to the lectures. They will be announced via the email list LIACS Talks, along with other research talks. We encourage you to subscribe to this list.

Next Ada Lovelace Lecture

  • Prof. Monica Lam from Stanford University, USA, holds an Ada Lovelace Lacture about Keeping the Linguistic Web Open with Open-Source Virtual Assistants on March 22nd 2019.

Previous Ada Lovelace Lectures

  • Prof. Carme Torras from Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial (CSIC-UPC) in Barcelona, Spain, will hold an Ada Lovelace Lecture about Social Robots: Research Challenges and Ethical Issues on 30 November 2018

  • Prof. Anne Condon from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, held an Ada Lovelace Lecture about “How principles of programming can help us discover the secret powers of bio-molecules” on April 13th 2018. 

  • On May 12th 2017, the inaugural Ada Lovelace lecture was held by prof. dr. Bart Selman from Cornell University. He spoke about the emergence of intelligent machines.

Ada Lovelace, visionary of advanced computing

Augusta Ada King-Noel, Countess of Lovelace (1815–1852) was an English mathematician and writer. Over a century before the first universal computers were built, Ada studied Charles Babbage's design for a mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. She was the first to realise that such a  machine had applications beyond mathematical calculation, and created the first algorithm intended to be carried out by it. As a result, she is often regarded as the first to recognise the full potential of a computing machine and as the first computer programmer. 

Rigorously trained in mathematics from an early age, Ada believed that intuition and imagination were critical to effectively applying mathematical and scientific concepts. She also had a keen interest in examining how individuals and society relate to technology as a collaborative tool.

The LIACS Distinguished Lecture Series is named after Ada in recognition of the many ways in which her thinking and vision foreshadowed our current age of advanced computation.

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