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Ada Lovelace Complete Biography

A revered English figure for her contributions in mathematics and computing, Ada Lovelace was born in London, December 10th, 1815 as Augusta Ada Byron the only legitimate daughter of revolutionary poet Lord Byron regarded as one of the greatest English poets and Lady Byron ( Annabella Milbanke) who encouraged Ada’s pursuit in mathematics as she herself was mathematically gifted and highly moral and feared Ada might take after her father whom she never met, in poetry due to his perceived insanity.

Their marriage ended briefly after Ada was born. Her mother ensured she was privately educated strictly in science, logic, mathematics, and music by Mary Somerville, William Frend, and Augustus De Morgan.

She married William King in 1835, who has created an earl in 1832 which earned her the title Countess of Lovelace. They had three children, two of whom were named Byron and Gordon after her father.

During the development of Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine of which Ada Lovelace grew an intense interest in, she translated and annotated a french article that contained a description of the engine by Italian mathematician and engineer, Luigi Menabrea based on a lecture by Charle Babbage— with whom Ada established a friendship and working relationship with since she was a teen due to her mathematical talents through her mentor Mary Sommerville, a scientist and polymath.

In her annotations, “The Enchantress of Numbers”, as Charles Babbage hailed her, recognized methods of which the engine could be applicable in the calculation and through that she published an algorithm 1843 which was programmed to calculate Bernoulli numbers using the machine and for her contribution she’s considered the first computer programmer.

Her notes were published in Scientific Memoirs Selected from the Transactions of Foreign Academies of Science and Learned Societies in 1843. Her notes contained several speculations of the Engine’s evolution besides being just about numbers, therefore, making her a visionary — she stated how the Engine could be used to compose scientific music pieces and solve complex problems.

Quoted from her notes she said:

Again, it [the Analytical Engine] might act upon other things besides numbers, where objects found whose mutual fundamental relations could be expressed by those of the abstract science of operations, and which should be also susceptible of adaptations to the action of the operating notation and mechanism of the engine . . . Supposing, for instance, that the fundamental relations of pitched sounds in the science of harmony and of musical composition were susceptible of such expression and adaptations, the engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent.”

Ada described herself as an Analyst and Metaphysician who earned many honors. In fact, the second Tuesday of October every year is celebrated as Ana Lovelace day founded in 2009 by technologist Suw Charman-Anderson in memory of her and also to celebrate women in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. The programming language ADA was named after her. It is important to note that she is highly reputable in the history of computers.

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