13. Celebrating the Father of Theoretical Computer Science, Alan Turing (June 23rd)
One of the most brilliant minds in human history is British Mathematician Alan Turing. That is why they have a day to celebrate his life and achievements. He was an early 1900 computer scientist, logician, philosopher, theoretical biologist, and code breaker. Turing is one of the most influential people developing theoretical computer science. This science is responsible for giving us a base of concepts of algorithm and computing using the Turing Machine. This machine is the first model of a general-purpose computer. People also know him as the father of artificial intelligence. Why? Because he discovered the computation theory. It suggests that a machine using symbols as simple as “0” and “1” can simulate a conceivable act of mathematical deduction.
While he was a fellow at King’s College in Cambridge, he published proof that some mathematical yes or no questions can’t be answered by just using computation. Doing so defined what later became the Turing machine. After obtaining his Ph.D. from the Department of Mathematics at Princeton University, he went on to work for the Government Code and Cypher School during World War II. He even led the section responsible for German naval cryptoanalysis, where he devised several techniques that made code-breaking faster. His extensive legacy and story are so fascinating that it was made into “The Imitation Game” movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Let’s celebrate Alan Turing on June 23rd.
12. A Shocking Michael Faraday Birthday (September 22nd)
English scientist Michael Faraday is also one of the most influential scientist in history, and he barely received any formal education. Still, his discoveries with underlying electromagnetic induction, electrochemistry, and magnetism helped shape the future of technology. Even Albert Einstein kept a picture of Faraday on his study wall next to Maxwell and Newton for being an inspiration in his achievements in science. His long list of accomplishments included underlying electromagnetic induction, electrolysis, and diamagnetism. He also established that magnetism could affect rays of light. He is also the inventor of electromagnetic rotary devices that helped form the foundation of electric motor technology.
From the 1700s, he was ahead of his time and even showed how electricity was an essential part of technology. He was also a chemist who discovered benzene, researched clathrate hydrate of chlorine, invented what we will know later as a Bunsen burner and the system of oxidation numbers. Faraday ended up becoming the first Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution. Even more impressive about his resume is that everything he achieved was done in an unambiguous and straightforward language that everyone could understand. What is even more mind-blowing is that he was not that good at math, showing that you can do anything you put your mind to do.
If there’s a week filled with science, technology, and space exploration that you can’t miss, is this one. World Space Week is the largest annual space event globally, with over 8,000 events in almost 100 countries, celebrating all the contributions to the evolution of the human condition. The week of the event is very significant in the science community because it also commemorates the anniversaries of some of the most important dates in space history; the launch of the first human-made satellite, Sputnik, on October 4th, 1957l and the signing of the Outer Space Treaty on October 10th, 1967.
World Space Week was officially declared On December 6th, 1999, at the United Nations General Assembly, and since then, millions of people worldwide have attended some of the events happening that week. Its goal is to provide a unique way to educate about space and all the benefits we receive from it. It is also a great way to encourage better use of space for sustainable economic development and make the younger generation excited about technology, engineering, science, and math. This year, it was a celebration of women in space, giving a tribute to all the women of science and their contributions to the space sector.
10. The Scientific Revolution of Johannes Kepler (December 27th)
This German astronomer, mathematician, natural philosopher, astrologer, and music composer is vital in the 17th century Scientific Revolution. Kepler is better known for being the publisher of the laws of planetary motion. These laws describe the planets around the sun. He was the first to discover that Mercury and Venus would transit the sun in 1631. Kepler also wrote many influential books like Astronomia nova and Epitome Astronomiae Copernicanae. These books laid the foundations for Newton’s theory of universal gravitation. Interestingly enough, Kepler used religious arguments in all of his works. Kepler always mentions that God was the creator of everything with a plan accessible through the natural light of reason.
Johannes Kepler used to be a mathematics teacher at a seminary school, which later allowed him to become an associate of Prince Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg. That opened the door of opportunity to turn into an imperial mathematician to Emperor Rudolf II and other emperors of the time. During this time, he also did fundamental work in the optics field, improving a version of the refracting telescope, also known as a Keplerian telescope. Because of it, he was mentioned by his contemporary Galileo Galilei when writing about telescopic discoveries. Because of his achievements, his legacy in the astronomy world inspired many other scientists. That includes throughout history and even in the present.
9. Celebrating Ada Lovelace, the First Computer Programmer (October 12th)
English mathematician Ada Lovelace is one of the first computer programmers in history. Some of her achievements explain the difference between Analytical Engine and other older versions of calculating machines. She programmed these machines to solve problems, no matter how complex they can be. Lovelace was so sure of the capabilities of computers. She published the first algorithm that a machine could use to carry other commands. Furthermore, these commands were beyond what they had in the early 1800s. She was even aware that computer devices would go beyond doing calculations. These calculations can solve advanced algorithms.
When her father, poet Lord Byron, left their home, her mother stayed bitter about her husband leaving her. The mother decided to promote and help Ada find an incline to mathematics and logic. That way, she didn’t follow in her father’s footsteps. As an adult, her social and educational exploits helped her meet some of the most prominent scientists of the time. That included Michael Faraday, Andrew Crosse, Sir David Brewster, and Charles Babbage. They had a fond friendship that ended with him inviting her all the time to work and see some of his prototypes. He would call her “the Enchantress of Numbers” for how passionate she was about trying to figure out a way to contribute to the advances of the difference engine. You can celebrate Ada Lovelace on October 12th every year.
8. The Birthday of Ernest Rutherford, the Father of Nuclear Physics (August 30th)
On August 30th, 1871, Ernest Rutherford, First Baron Rutherford of Nelson, was born. We celebrate this date, as this was the man colloquially known as the father of nuclear physics. His significant accomplishments include discovering the concept of radioactive half-life, which is the time it takes for unstable atoms to reduce to half of their given value. In 1899, along with Robert B Owens, he discovered the element radon. He also found and named alpha and beta radiation, which was the basis for his receiving the Nobel Prize in Chemistry that he was awarded in 1908.
Rutherford is such a towering figure in the scientific community, a reason he deserves an annual birthday celebration. He has several buildings and awards named after him, such as Rutherford College, which has campus locations in Kent at the University of Kent, Canterbury, England, and Auckland, New Zealand. At Loughborough University, he has a student residence hall named after him. His name also graces several prestigious awards, notably the Rutherford Memorial Medal, which the Royal Society of Canada gives out for research in physics and chemistry. The Rutherford Medal and Prize is given out every other year for “distinguished research in nuclear physics or nuclear technology” by the Institute of Physics from the United Kingdom.
People celebrate Fibonacci Day in the mathematics community on November 23rd of every year. It is simply because the date, written as 11/23, represents the first four numbers of what we call the Fibonacci sequence. First written about in the book Liber Abaci in the year 1202, authored by, you guessed it,Fibonacci (aka Leonardo Bonacci or Leonardo Bigollo Pisano). A basic explanation of the sequence is this: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89 and so on. Each number is the total sum of the two numbers that came before it with the potential to reach infinity.
This sequence of numbers is so standard that it even exists in multiple places in nature. For example, in the leaves of several plants, within a pineapple, or in pinecones of pine trees. Being such a standard mathematical figure, there is even a scientific journal dedicated to it under the name of Fibonacci Quarterly, which is done as a publication of The Fibonacci Association. It publishes four journals a year and has done ever since 1963. The journal publishes related articles, mathematical quizzes, and articles written by invited and distinguished mathematicians.
Without Engineers, we literally (literally, not figuratively) could not have the world we live in now. An engineer has touched everything piece of technology and building we utilize in our daily lives at some point, and this is why we take a whole week in February to celebrate engineers. Officially, the week is determined by George Washington’s actual Birthday (February 22nd, as that will be the week designated. This practice was started in 1951 by a group known as the National Society of Professional Engineers. It encompasses Washington’s birthday as he is considered the nation’s first engineer as he was a trained surveyor.
Arbor Day is one of the most widespread observance days in the world. In the United States, Arbor Day is always on the last Friday in April. It is a holiday in which people come together to plant trees to beautify their local area. Not only are trees important, but this can help combat climate change. People plant several millions of trees on this day just in the United States alone. In fact, The Arbor Day Foundation, which has over a million members, has been singularly responsible for producing over 350 million trees worldwide since its inception in 1972. They average around 5 million trees planted annually in the United States. The true importance of this day cannot be understated.
The idea for Arbor Day came before the foundation was created in 1972. In Nebraska City, J. Sterling Morton held an annual meeting of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture, where it was approved to do so in 1872. By April of that year, an estimated one million trees were planted all across Nebraska. Birdsey Northrop took the idea and brought it to Japan in 1883 to bring a village improvement message. The American Forestry Association later chose him to be the Chairman of the Committee to get Arbor Day to every State in America. He also brought the idea to other places like Canada, Europe, and Australia, and the rest is history.
Marie Curie was a physicist and chemist. People consider her a key person in researching radioactivity, discovering radium and polonium. She found them with a technique that she invented that isolates radioactive isotopes. She is the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in physics. Curie did so with her husband, Antoine Henri Becquerel, in 1903 for their studies in spontaneous radiation. They were the first married couple to with a Nobel Prize. She later won another one in 1911 in chemistry. This award was for her work with radioactivity and finding polonium and radium. Marie Curie is the only person and only woman to win two Nobel prizes in two different scientific fields.
After her husband died in an accident in Paris, she occupied his position as a chemistry professor at the University of Paris. Again, she set a record, making her the first woman to become a professor there. In 1920, she founded the Curie Institutes in Paris. Later, she opened one in Warsaw, where they major in doing medical research. During World War I, Marie Curie created mobile radiography, which was essential in field hospitals. After years of radiation exposure while doing her research, she died of aplastic anemia. The radiation contamination she went through during her career was excessive. There was so much that all her notebooks, cookbooks, and personal papers are locked in lead-line boxes. To inspect her documents, they need to use protecting clothes. Let’s learn more about her amazing legacy in science as we celebrate Marie Curie on November 7th.
This international event is one that everyone needs to pay attention to and celebrate. That is especially true in this technological and social media age we are in now. The objective to this day is to raise awareness for data privacy. It also helps promote the best practices in data protection among businesses, individuals, and families. It highlights the importance of protecting yourself online, especially when it comes to social networking. Why? That is where people can accidentally share too much personal info, resulting in a data breach. Yes, Data Privacy Day is about protecting yourself online. However, this international celebration and its organizers also offer activities that encourage people to join a movement to develop technology. That goes double for ones that promote individual control about their information.
This day and movement started in 1981 with the Convention for the Protection of Individuals concerning Automatic Processing of Personal Data. They opened for signatures by the Council of Europe. Today, the convention is still getting updated to reflect all the challenges and legal regulations that are still evolving. Furthermore, they are looking for better ways to improve privacy in cyberspace. The Data Protection Day was officially decided in 2007 in Europe. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution declaring January 28th National Data Privacy Day. Everyone should take caution to protect their data privacy.
In 1950, he earned his Ph.D. with a thesis about the definition and properties of what is known as the Nash equilibrium, an important concept when it comes to non-cooperative games, and made him win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, and wrote four books about the idea. In 1959, he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. This disorder makes the patient feel paranoid and have fixed unrealistic, over-imaginative, or false beliefs, with experiences that feel real but not present. Even still, he never let the disorder stop him from being one of the most celebrated mathematicians in history.
The Analytical Engine could go beyond being a calculator, and it could mark a progression from the mechanical version of calculation to an all-purpose computation. Even with all the wealth and sources he had to make these machines a reality, many rocks were put on his way, which we are still trying to figure out. However, history believes he had engineers who had disputes about Babbage’s inventions, making it impossible for him to continue working. Sadly he never saw it come to a reality. It wasn’t until the 1980s when Allan G. Bromley, a professor at the University of Sydney, studied Babbage’s drawings and papers. Over two hundred years after Babbage’s cherished engine, a fully working Difference engine was built and displayed at the Intellectual Ventures in Seattle just outside the main lobby for everyone to admire.