Ada Lovelace 1815 – 1852 and the first computer programme

This entry is part 3 of 12 in the series Intriguing Women

Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace 1815 1852 Mathematician and Musician: an intriguing women appeared out of the Age Of Enlightenment

Ada Lovelace

Augusta Ada Lovelace was a daughter of the poet Lord Byron, although she never knew him. Her mother Lady Byron encouraged her in mathematics and music and she was tutored in mathematics by another woman, Mary Somerville who had one of the most excellent minds of the century.
She was fascinated in all things mathematical and was a close friend of Charles Babbage, who invented the first analytical machine.

  • He asked her to translate a memoir in French about his machine and she became absorbed by the task.
  • Beyond the workings of the machine itself she saw the number of possibilities it offered for developing and tabulating any function.
  • She took it a step further and anticipated what the future use of such a machine might be, including computer generated music.
  • She published the first known computer programme in 1843

So many brilliant women in history have gone unnoticed, only those who had the money and position to pursue their intellectual destiny had the opportunity to develop their ideas and even then little has been recorded about their achievements.

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