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THE FIRST FEMALE COMPUTER PROGRAMMER WAS ADA LOVELACE (BORN AUGUSTA ADA BYRON). SHE WAS THE DAUGHTER OF THE RECOGNIZED POET LORD BYRON (GEORGE GORDON BYRON, A LEADING FIGURE OF THE ‘ROMANTIC MOVEMENT‘) AND A BRILLIANT MATHEMATICIAN WHO WROTE ALGORITHM FOR A COMPUTING MACHINE IN THE 1800’S.
BORN AUGUSTA ADA BYRON
The Story of Ada Lovelace
December 10, 1815 – November 27, 1852
Ada Lovelace, also known as Ada King. Was born on December 10, 1815, in to poverty. A choice by her father, the poet Lord Byron, who’s belief was that he shouldn’t make money from his work although exceptionally successful and best-selling.
Her mother, Anne Isabella Milbanke Byron legally separated from her father soon after giving birth. It is said that she could not tolerate his infidelity and erratic behavior that got him in to financial debt. Her father left Britain and Ada never met him again. Lord Byron died April 19, 1824 in Greece.
More in depth about Lord Byron can be found at Britainnica.com for those interested.
Ada had no access to formal school or university education and was instead tutored privately in advanced mathematics from a young age with Universe of London professor Augustus de Morgan. Adas mother herself was well educated and as dedicated to her daughters education as her own parents once were.
Whilst mostly famous for being the first female programmer she also had interest in flying and conceptualized a flying machine at the age of 12. She wanted to invent a flying horse and titled her idea “Flyology”.
That is 76 years before the Wright Brothers took their first flight.
She married William King, the Earl of Lovelace, at the age of 19 and got the title Countess of Lovelace.
Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage was first introduced through a mutual accuaintence at a party in 1833. Babbage is the man who she later would end up working together with on the ‘Analytical Engine’ that led to her discovery that a computer could follow a sequence of instructions.
By 1843, she had presented guidelines for how to program the ‘Analytical Engine’ to calculate complex formulas. She also spotted an error that Babbage had made in the formula she was working through and the first computer bug was discovered.
Ada is the name of a programming language, developed under the assigned mission by the USA Defense Department by the end of the 1970’s.
She died of cancer in November 27, 1852 at the age of 37 and was laid to rest by the side of the father that she never knew.
Ada Lovelace Visual Timeline
The eminent contributions of the hailed first female programmer as the first to recognize that the machine had potentials beyond mathematical calculations where it was able to follow a set of constructions, i.e algorithm, for the ‘Analytical Engine‘.
The Analytical Engine is a steam-powered programmable computer, designed by English mathematician, philosopher, inventor, political economist and computer pioneer Charles Babbage in 1834 and the first fully-automatic calculating machine.
Charles Babbage is considered by some to be “father of the computer” as his work is based on the same principles as our modern day computers.
Displayed image: A portion of the mill with a printing mechanism invented by Babbage in 1834.
The Lovelace Medal
The Lovelace Medal was established by the British Computer Society in 1998, and is presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the understanding or advancement of computing. It is the top award in computing in the UK.https://www.bcs.org/events/awards-and-competitions/lovelace-medal/
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I, Ada: Rebel. Genius. Visionary by Julia Gray.
Organic cotton white t-shirt print Ada Lovelace by unhingedheather.
Available to order on Redbubble.com.
Inspiring the next generation of female engineers | Debbie Sterling | TEDxPSU
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