Ada Lovelace

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Ada Lovelace

Born 10 December 1815(1815-12-10)
London
Died 27 November 1852(1852-11-27) (aged 36)
Marylebone, London
Nationality British
Fields Mathematics, computing
Blue plaque to Lovelace in St. James's Square, London

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852), born Augusta Ada Byron, was an English writer who became the world's first computer programmer. She wrote the program for Charles Babbage's mechanical computer, the analytical engine. She wrote the first algorithm that was meant to be processed by a machine.

She was the only legitimate child of the poet Lord Byron and Anne Isabella Milbanke. She had no relationship with her father, who died when she was nine. As a young adult she took an interest in mathematics, and in particular Babbage's work on the analytical engine. Between 1842 and 1843 she translated an article by Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea on the engine. She added her own notes on the engine. These notes contain what is considered the first computer program, that is, an algorithm encoded for processing by a machine. Though Babbage's engine was never built, Lovelace's notes are important in the early history of computers. She realized that computers would be able to do more than just calculating or number-crunching. Others, including Babbage himself, worked only on the possibilities of calculating.[1]

References[change | edit source]

  1. J. Fuegi and J. Francis, "Lovelace & Babbage and the creation of the 1843 'notes'." Annals of the History of Computing 25 #4 (October-December 2003): 16-26. Digital Object Identifier