Ada Lovelace, widely regarded as the first computer programmer, would probably have appreciated the current thinking on diversity in the workplace. Studies suggest that for tasks that involve creativity and innovation, on top of our game when we're working with people who challenge us to leave our comfort zones (a theme we explored in a special report). Lovelace, born in 1815 in England, "was a mathematician who became interested in computer pioneer Charles Babbage’s 'analytical engine'," wrote SA blogger Evelyn Lamb.
Fred Guterl is the executive editor of Scientific American and author of The Fate of the Species (Bloomsbury). Guterl is former deputy editor of Newsweek. His writing and editing have contributed to numerous awards and nominations from the American Society of Magazine Editors. His article "Riddles in the Sand," in Discover, was named best magazine article in 1998 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and his Newsweek article "The Wasteland," on Russia's plan to accept the world's nuclear waste, was honored by the Overseas Press Club for environmental writing. Follow Fred Guterl on Twitter