tech

Meet Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer

By Staff

Published October 9, 2018

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Ada Lovelace Day, founded in 2009, is a time to celebrate the work of women in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

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So … who was Ada Lovelace?

Lovelace was a mathematician whose work inspired other women and girls to pursue technology careers.

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She is considered influential enough that she was the subject of one of Google's popular homepage doodles in 2012.

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She was born Augusta Ada Byron in 1815 in London. Her parents were George Gordon Byron and his wife, Annabella Milbanke.

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Her father is better known as Lord Byron, the famous poet who wrote "Don Juan" and "She Walks in Beauty." Her mother, Annabella, was known to be fond of mathematics.

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Her mother encouraged her interest in math and the science of the Industrial Revolution, according to findingada.com

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As a young woman, she married William King, who later was made Earl of Lovelace.

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When she was a teenager, she became acquainted with the mathematics professor Charles Babbage and studied his work closely, according to findingada.com.

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With her understanding of Babbage's work, she translated an article about his Analytical Engine, an early computer.

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Her version of the article added her own thoughts -- very similar to early computer programs -- about how to use the engine. She often is considered the first computer programmer.

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Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, died of cancer in 1852 at age 36.

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