Ada Lovelace

Who Was Ada Lovelace?

Augusta Ada Byron (1815-1852) was an English mathematician popularly known as “Ada Lovelace”, the daughter of a poet named Lord Byron, whom she had been called the first-ever computer programmer for developing an algorithm for a machine that could compute in the mid-19th century.

Ada Lovelace Biography
Photo: The New Yorker/Celeblifegraphy

Early Life

Ada Lovelace, known as Augusta Ada Byron, was born on December 10, 1815. She was the daughter of the famous poet Lord George Gordon Byron and mathematician Anne Isabella Milbanke Byron.

Lovelace demonstrated her love for numbers at an earlier age than most girls her age as well as received education that was distinct from other young ladies of her time. Her mother had mathematics and science tutors to teach Lovelace those subjects because she was afraid that she would have inherited her father’s temperament. Moreover, other notable figures such as Mary Somerville, William King, and William Frend also gave lectures to Lovelace.

Ada Lovelace Invention

When she was 17 years old, Lovelace met Charles Babbage who was a mathematician and inventor. Babbage became her mentor; it was through him that she began studying advanced mathematics under Professor Augustus de Morgan. Among Babbage’s inventions, Lovelace developed an interest in his analytical engine which he had designed for carrying out complex calculations.

The most remarkable thing about what Lovelace did when asked to translate into English an article by Luigi Federico Menabrea, an Italian engineer about Babbages’ Analytical Engine, was not just translating but also adding extensive notes with ideas of her own inside it. In these notes, Lovelace explained how the analytical engine could manipulate both numbers and symbols. She further speculated ways in which this machine could be programmed to repeat a series of instructions i.e., “looping.”

Ada Lovelace’s pioneering work as the first computer programmer has forever left an indelible mark in the field of computer science, thus making her a visionary and important figure in technological history.

Personal Life

In 1835, Ada Lovelace wed William King when she was only nineteen years old. William later became known as the Earl of Lovelace. Their three children were named Ralph Gordon Byron, Anne Isabella, and Ralph Gordon. However, by 1837 she complained about her prolonged problems with asthma and digestion. Consequently, she was given painkillers like laudanum and opium; this led to a change in her character.

Death

In later years, she tried to work out mathematical schemes for gambling but encountered financial difficulties. She died from uterine cancer on November 27, 1852 in London. Her grave is at Hucknall’s Church of St Mary Magdalene which is near that of her father.

Contributions To Computing

It was not until the 1950s when Lovelace’s notes were reprinted that her contributions to computer science had been rediscovered. Since then many posthumous awards have been bestowed upon her including naming a new programming language “Ada” after her by the U.S. Department of Defense in 1980.

Interesting Facts

  • Article Title: Ada Lovelace Biography
  • Full Name: Augusta Ada Byron King
  • Birth Year: 1815
  • Birth Date: December 10, 1815
  • Birth City: London
  • Birth Country: United Kingdom
  • Gender: Female
  • Best Known For: “the first computer programmer” for writing an algorithm for a computing machine in the mid-1800s.
  • Death Year: 1852
  • Death Date: November 27, 1852
  • Death City: London
  • Death Country: United Kingdom
  • Author: Celeblifegraphy.com Editors

Quotes

  • That brain of mine is something more than merely mortal, as time will show.
  • That brain of mine is something more than merely mortal, as time will show.
  • Mathematical science shows what is. It is the language of unseen relations between things. But to use and apply that language, we must be able fully to appreciate, to feel, to seize the unseen, the unconscious.
  • The science of operations, as derived from mathematics more especially, is a science of itself, and has its own abstract truth and value.