Ada Lovelace – Mathematician, Writer, First Programmer – Biography

Augusta Ada Byron known as Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer in the 1800s, the daughter of poet Lord Byron, was born on 10th Dec. 1815. The marriage life of Ada’s parents, Lord Byron and Anne Isabella Milbanke Byron was not a happy one. Lady Byron separated from her husband in a week of their daughter’s born. Ada never meets her father after Lord Byron left England a few months later. Lord Byron died in Greece when Ada was 8 years old.

Life Journey of Ada Lovelace

At the early stage after her father’s death, her mother hired tutors to teach Mathematics and Science. At that time, these subjects are quite challenging for any woman, but her mother believed that engaging in difficult subjects would prevent Ada from developing her father’s moody and also it helps to build self-control.

ada lovelace
Source: Google

From the very first Ada showed an interest in numbers and languages. She received instructions from William Frend who is a social reformer; William King, her family Doctor and Mary Somerville who is a Scottish Astronomer and Mathematician and also first woman who was admitted into the Royal Astronomical Society.

Ada at the age of 17 met Charles Babbage, a Mathematician, and inventor. The pair became friends and it is not wrong to say that older Charles Babbage guides as her mentor. Ada began studying advanced mathematics at the University of London professor Augusta de Morgan. Ada was fascinated by Babbage’s ideas known as the Father of the Computer, he invented the different engine to perform mathematical calculations. Ada got a chance to see this before it was finished. Ada was informed to translate an article on Babbage’s analytical engine for a Swiss journal which was written by Italian engineer Luigi Federico Menabrea. But the interesting thing is that during the translation of that article she added her notes and complete that journal which was three times longer than the original one

In the notes, she described how codes could be created for the device to handle letters and symbols along with numbers. She also told me about the method for the engine to repeat a series of instructions known as looping nowadays. Ada also showed her forward-thinking concepts and she considered the first computer programmer.

Personal Life of Ada Lovelace

In 1835, Ada married William King, who became the Earl of Lovelace in three years and she got the title of Countess of Lovelace. They had three children. Both of them were socialized with many interesting minds of the times including scientist Michel Faraday and writer Charles Dickens. In 1837, Ada was suffered in Cholera. She had also Asthma and digestive problem. Doctors gave her painkillers. Her personality began to change and experienced mood swings.

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Achievements of Ada Lovelace

Ada’s contribution to the field of computer science was not discovered until her notes are reintroduced to the world by B.V. Bowden, who republished it in 1953 on “Faster than Thought: A Symposium on Digital Computing Machines”. Then Ada has received many honors for her work. In 1980, the U.S. Department of Defence named a newly developed computer language “Ada”, after Lovelace.


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