Happy Ada Lovelace Day - a look back at women in STEM

Before Bill Gates - there was Ada Credit: PA

Today is Ada Lovelace day. A celebration of the contribution made by women to science, technology, maths and engineering.

Ada Lovelace was the world's first computer programmer - writing the first algorithm for Charles Babbage's Analytical engine.

Since 2009 her achievements have been remembered and used to help promote the many and varied roles of women in STEM.

So to mark the day - here's a run down of some of the science and technology stories we've featured over the last year.

In no particular order:

Flower Power of Attraction

Researchers in Cambridge found that flowers have a special way of luring bees to pollinate them - an invisible aura.

The flowers create the effect, dubbed a "blue halo" by scientists, using microscopic ridges to scatter light. In tests, artificial surfaces designed to replicate the halo attracted foraging bumblebees searching for nectar.

"We had always assumed that the disorder we saw in our petal surfaces was just an accidental by-product of life - that flowers couldn't do any better. It came as a real surprise to discover that the disorder itself is what generates the important optical signal that allows bees to find the flowers more effectively."

PROFESSOR BEVERLEY GLOVER, DIRECTOR OF CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY'S BOTANIC GARDEN

SW-OTTERS: Research shows that Otters are really quite smart

Researcher Zosia Ladds at Anglia Ruskin University was studying the behaviour of otters have found they learn from each other to help them solve puzzles. Smart.

Devilishly tricky

University of Cambridge scientists could save a rare Australian marsupial from going the way of the Passenger Pigeon, Dodo and the Tasmanian Tiger - thanks to the use of human cancer drugs.

Would Ewe believe it - Sheep can recognise faces

Sheep have demonstrated a celebrity-spotter's ability to recognise faces of famous people, including former US President Barack Obama - according to new research by the University of Cambridge.

Jenni Sidey: Astronaut Credit: Jenni Sidey

And of course there was the engineer that won the race for space.

[But as it's Ada Lovelace day \- here's the Museum of Computing History's exhibition on the forgotten role of women in tech.](http://Jenni Sidey: Astronaut)