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Transcript

Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace was a math prodigy who is often called "the first computer programmer" for her work writing an algorithm for a computing machine in the 1800s.

"THE FIRST COMPUTER PROGRAMMER"

Ada Lovelace was a math prodigy who is often called "the first computer programmer" for her work writing an algorithm for a computing machine in the 1800s.

When she was 17, Lovelace met mathematician and inventor Charles Babbage. They became friends, and Babbage became Lovelace’s mentor. Thanks to his help, Lovelace began studying mathematics with a professor of the University of London. Lovelace was fascinated by Babbage’s ideas, and in particular his difference engine, which was made to perform mathematical calculations.

Babbage also wanted to create another machine called the analytical engine which would be capable of performing more complex calculations. Babbage asked Lovelace to translate an article on the invention from French to English, but when Lovelace translated the article, she added her own ideas about the device. In the end, her notes were three times longer than the original article. Lovelace’s work was published in an English science journal in 1843.

In her notes on the analytical engine, Lovelace discussed how codes could be created which would allow the device to handle letters and symbols in addition to numbers. Lovelace also theorized a method for the machine to repeat a series of instructions. This process is known as looping, and computer programs today use it. Because of her incredible work, Lovelace is called the first computer programmer.

Unfortunately, Lovelace received very little praise for her work during her lifetime. She died in 1852 at the age of 36. However, years after her death, her contributions to computer science were discovered. English scientist B.V. Bowden republished her notes in 1953, and since then she has received various honors for her work.

Ada Lovelace was born on December 10th, 1815 as Augusta Ada Byron. Her father was the well-known poet Lord Byron. Lovelace’s parents separated when she was just a baby. Thanks to her mother, who insisted she be taught mathematics and science by private tutors, Lovelace was able to have an education that was uncommon for girls at the time. Lovelace showed a talent for mathematics from a young age.