/ 10.10.22

Ada Lovelace - The mother of modern computing

Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Born two centuries ago, Ada Lovelace was a pioneer of computing science. A true visionary, she recognised for the first time that computers had the potential to do much more than simple calculations.


Some interesting facts about her life:

  • Ada Lovelace, born Augusta Ada Byron on December 10, 1815, was the only legitimate child of the famous poet Lord Bryon. He died when Ada was just eight. She never knew him
  • Lady Byron did not want Ada to follow in her father's footsteps, and being an accomplished mathematician herself, she ensured that from age four, Ada was tutored in mathematics and science
  • Aged just 12, Ada conceptualised a flying machine
  • Ada became the protégé of the inventor and mathematician Charles Babbage, working with him on his Difference and Analytical Engines
  • In 1835, Ada married William King, who later became the Earl of Lovelace, making her the Countess of Lovelace
  • She wrote the first published computer program
  • Ada was a compulsive gambler and once lost £3,200 (quite a sum in the 1840s) by betting on the wrong horse at the Epsom Derby
  • Charles Dickens read from one of his novels to Ada on her deathbed (She passed away from uterine cancer on November 27, 1852)
  • In homage to Lovelace, 'Ada' is the native currency of the Cardano blockchain.

Unfortunately, Babbage never received enough funding to complete the Analytical Engine, and Lovelace's notes were consigned to history. Thankfully, in the 1950s, her notes were republished, and she started to receive recognition for her idea of a 'computer language' and acknowledgement as the world's First Computer Programmer.

"Mathematical science shows what is. It is the language of unseen relations between things. But to use and apply that language, we must be able to fully appreciate, to feel, to seize the unseen, the unconscious."

Ada Lovelace