Ada Lovelace: The Mother of Programming (1)

“If you can’t give me poetry, can’t you give me poetical science?”

Ada Lovelace died on this day, 27 November 1852.
She was an English mathematician chiefly known because she wrote the world’s first computer program for Charles Babbage’s huge mechanical computer, “The Analytical Engine”.

Alfred Edward Chalon - 1840

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace was born in December 1815 and was the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, who left England forever only a few months after her birth.
Ada never met her father again and was raised by her mother Annabella Milbanke who did not want her to follow in her father’s footsteps. Therefore she was immersed in mathematics and other scientific disciplines to counter dangerous poetic tendencies

When she was eighteen, she visited Babbage, saw a demonstration of the prototype of his calculating machine and was fascinated by it. Also Babbage was very impressed with young Ada’s mind and her analytic skills and coined for her the nickname “The Enchantress of Numbers”.

Babbage believed the use of his machines was confined to numerical calculations but, since she was a visionary, she predicted that computers could do more than just crunch numbers. A century before the dawn of the computer age, Ada imagined the modern-day, general-purpose computer, which could be programmed to follow instructions.
She mused that any piece of content (including music, text, pictures and sounds) could be translated to digital form and manipulated by a machine able to weave algebraic patterns just as the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves.”

Ada died of uterine cancer exacerbated by bloodletting, a common practice at the time, in 1852, when she was still 36 years old, the same age her father had passed away.
At her request her coffin was placed at side-by-side with that of her father, in the graveyard of St Mary Magdalene Church in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire.

In the late 1970s, the U.S. Department of Defense developed an object-oriented high-level programming language to supplant the hundreds of different ones in use by the military.
This new language, with its focus on software engineering, was named ADA in her honour,

“Se non sapete darmi la poesia, non potreste darmi la scienza poetica?”

“…la Macchina Analitica tesse motivi algebrici proprio come il telaio Jacquard tesse fiori e foglie”

40 thoughts on “Ada Lovelace: The Mother of Programming (1)

  1. Visto che hai messo questa bella dama dell’ottocento perchè non leggi il libro Vita mondana di Memini che ho messo sul sito qualche giorno fa? Un italiano un po’ desueto ma sempre italiano è!

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  2. Wow! I am sorry for my delay on comment! I had seen the title and found it amazing, therefore, I let me time to read and as I believe all the time; there comes, We Men are just Idiots!! really, we have lost a lot for our egoistic acts, stupid! Anyway, stunning, I had no idea and I am sure if the story went as it had to, our condition as the Human might run in the much rightly way as it went! 🙏🥰💖🙏

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  3. Very interesting. A good friend of mine named his daughter Ada 😍👶🏼 I didn’t know she was buried side-by-side next to her Dad in Nottinghamshire. I’ll try and visit their graves when I am next allowed to visit my brother who lives in Nottingham. Great post. Thank you. Lots of sparks flew out of this one 👍🤓⚡️

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      1. LUISA,I didn’t know that? My goodness LUISA you show us so much And. You make it fun . I wish school was like that for me . I just didn’t have teachers that cared about the lost & frightened child.. You have a wonderful gift my lov . Bless you 💞💒⛪ On my way to church , enjoy the rest of your weekend .

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  4. mechanic and electric- tronic computing had many “fathers”, and “mothers” too. But a computing (or more generally mathematics aad sience ) “mother” is very seldom “named”. Someone said and says that Einsteins first whife, Mileva Maric, suggested many things to his husband just about relativity. “Albert, why don’t you add this constant…..”, for example, And in some letter to her, Einstein wrote “our..theory darling..”.
    The DNA code seem to work, expert say, just like “Turin Machine”, the combination of the “four letters” of DNA form billions of informations. DNA is reall a computer. And also the brain, in other way, is a computer. A scientist sayd: “our brain is a computer made of…meat”, and it is true: every single cell connected to ten thousand other cells at least.
    Blaise Pascal invented, much before Babbage adn others, a mechanic calculator, that in Italy we call “la pascalina”, in his honour. Ciao Luisa 🙂

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