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International Girls in ICT Day 2024 Observed on April 25

Every year on the fourth Thursday of April, the world celebrates International Girls in ICT Day. This important occasion aims to highlight the significance of girls and young women in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and encourage them to pursue education and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). This year, International Girls in ICT Day falls on April 25.

History of Computers and ICT

The history of computers and ICT dates back to the 19th century when Charles Babbage, an English mathematician and engineer, invented the first mechanical computer called the Difference Engine in 1822. This machine was designed to perform basic calculations and solve complex problems.

In 1833, Babbage conceived the idea of the Analytical Engine, which was the first automatic mechanical digital computer capable of performing all calculations and storing large amounts of data. However, due to lack of funding, the Analytical Engine was never built during his lifetime.

Ada Lovelace: The World’s First Computer Programmer

In 1843, Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, published a paper explaining the Analytical Engine and drew comparisons between it and existing calculators. She is widely regarded as the world’s first computer programmer, as she wrote the first computer program by sequencing instructions on the punched cards that the Analytical Engine used.

ENIAC and the “ENIAC Girls”

In 1945, John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert Jr. led a project at the University of Pennsylvania to build the first electronic programmable computer in the United States, called ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer). The programming of ENIAC was handled by six women, known as the “ENIAC girls,” who played a crucial role in this groundbreaking achievement.

Rapid Advancements in Computing

From the mid-20th century to the early 21st century, the world witnessed a significant leap in the development of computers and technology. This period saw the invention of transistors, programming languages like COBOL and FORTRAN, UNIX operating system, floppy disks, and the Ethernet. Major tech companies like Intel, IBM, Apple, and Microsoft were established during this time.

Portable Computers and Mobile Phones

In the early 2000s, portable computers became commonplace due to advancements in battery life and miniaturization of computing resources. This innovation also paved the way for the development of cellular mobile phones, which have become an integral part of our daily lives.

Encouraging Girls in ICT

International Girls in ICT Day aims to inspire and encourage girls and young women to explore opportunities in the field of ICT. By highlighting the achievements of pioneering women in this field and promoting STEM education, this day strives to empower the next generation of female leaders in technology.

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