creative juice

first programmer was a woman

A gifted mathematician, Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) is considered to have written instructions for the first computer program long before computers were invented.

According to Biography.com, “Ada Lovelace, born as Augusta Ada Byron, was the only legitimate child of the famous poet Lord George Gordon Byron. Lord Byron’s marriage to Ada’s mother, Lady Anne Isabella Milbanke Byron, was not a happy one. Lady Byron separated from her husband only weeks after their daughter was born.”

Consequently, Ada had an unusual upbringing. On the insistence of her mother, who didn’t want her daughter to turn out moody and temperamental like her father, Ada was tutored in math, science, and music.

“From early on, Lovelace showed a talent for numbers and language. She received instruction from William Frend, a social reformer; William King, the family’s doctor; and Mary Somerville, a Scottish astronomer and mathematician,” the article states.

At the age of 17, Ada was introduced to Charles Babbage, a mathematician and inventor. They became friends and corresponded over the next 2 decades. Babbage had invented a machine, which he called the analytical engine. In 1843, Babbage asked Lovelace to translate a description of his invention written by an Italian mathematician. Over the next 9 months, Lovelace worked on the translation, but also appended and added her own set of notes, which ended up being three times longer than the original text. She demonstrated the machine’s possible applications, and also described how it could be used to calculate Bernoulli numbers. Essentially, she had written a computer algorithm. (SciShow)

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Lovelace’s work wasn’t recognized until 101 years after her death, when her work was republished—just as people were beginning to build the computers she had envisioned. How’s that for being ahead of her time? (SciShow)

Read the full article here: Ada Lovelace Biography

Watch other SciShow videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZYTClx2T1of7BRZ86-8fow

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