FEMILIST FRIDAY: ADA BYRON, COUNTESS OF LOVELACE
- •Known as the first computer programmer, or the founder of scientific computing
- •1815 - Born to father Lord Byron (the poet) and mother Anne Isabelle Milbanke. Anne left Byron a few weeks after giving birth, and Ada never knew her father.
- •In hoping to keep Ada's imaginative side at bay because she was afraid of her daughter becoming like Lord Byron, her mother arranged tutoring in math and science from an early age.
- •1833 - On Ada's 17th birthday she met Charles Babbage, a professor of mathematics at Cambridge and inventor of the Difference Engine.Ada visited Babbage to see the machine and the two began a regular correspondence about the possibilities of a computing machine.
- •1834 - Babbage became a mentor to Ada and led her to study advanced mathematics at the University of London.He also hoped to create an Analytical Engine for larger computing than his Difference Engine, but was unable to gain local funding and had to search elsewhere for it.
- •1835 - Ada married William King and gained the title of Countess of Lovelace from his family.The couple had 3 children and King was said to have been supportive of Ada's studies in a technical field.
- •1842 - An Italian mathematician published an article about the Analytical Engine in a science journal, and Ada was selected to write a translation of the article in English.In her translation she refers to herself as an Analyst and Metaphysician. She added her own notes to the original document which increased the length of it by 3 times.
- •In her notes, Ada observed the potential for the future advancement of the Analytical Engine and how it could perform endless, complex functions. She was the only one to make these observations, and this contribution is the reason she is known as the first computer programmer.
- •1852 - Ada died of cancer without receiving recognition for her ideas, or her translation as she only wrote her initials for authorship.
- •1950s - Her contributions began to receive official recognition. The US Department of Defense even named a programming language Ada in her honor in the 1980s.