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Ada Lovelace

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Ada Lovelace, (1815–1852), mathematician and computer pioneer

1815 born on 10 December at 13 Piccadilly Terrace, London, the only child of George Gordon Noel Byron, sixth Baron Byron, poet, and his wife, Anne Isabella Noel, née Milbanke.

Ada was brought up by her mother. She was educated to be a mathematician and a scientist because her mother feared that she might turn out to be a poet like her father. She was taught by a series of tutors, including the mathematician Augustus De Morgan; at an early age she was fascinated by mechanisms.

1833 Met Charles Babbage. Babbage showed her his difference engine. Ada is best-known for her incisive notes on Babbage's plans for an analytical engine.

1834 Babbage discussed his general idea for a new calculating engine with her.

1835 She married William King, eighth Baron King of Ockham. He was created Earl of Lovelace in 1838

1843 she translated a paper by Menabrea describing Babbage's analytical engine. She added extensive notes to Menabrea's paper that contained what is thought to be one of the earliest computer programs as well as comments about the future of such an engine. She corresponded with Babbage on her idea, and the possible use of such programs; she cited Bernoulli's Number as an example of something it be used for.

1843 September. Ada's work was published in Taylor's Scientific Memoirs. She asked penetrating questions about how the analytical engine might be applied, suggested its graphical potential and that, by changing to a new medium, the punched card, scientific information would be seen in a new light.

1852 Ada died.

1979 a computer language was named Ada in her honour

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography of Ada Lawrennce, ODNB [1]