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  • 6650 Andrew Nellestyn’s Food for Thought: ADA LOVELACE – WORLD’S 1st PROGRAMMER

6650 Andrew Nellestyn’s Food for Thought: ADA LOVELACE – WORLD’S 1st PROGRAMMER

In 1815, to Lord Byron & Lady Byron was born a daughter, Augusta Ada, who through marriage, became Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace aka Ada Lovelace.

She was raised by her mother who favored mathematics in hopes of pushing away the influence of her father, a famous poet who went insane. It was thus that Ada, 17 years old, attended her first salon hosted by Charles Babbage.

Babbage showed the gathered intellectuals a calculating machine he was working on, the Difference Engine. Instantly awed by the potential of the machine, she kept a close eye on his progress and the two began correspondence.

Nine years later, in 1842, Ada was hired to translate an Italian article on Babbage’s next machine, the Analytical Engine. More than just translating, Ada added a “Notes by the Translator” section three times the length of the original article.

Ada advocated strongly for the Analytical Engine, explaining how it was more than just a calculator. She laid out a series of steps that showed how the Analytical Engine could, when fully built, predict a number pattern.

These steps, many credit, make her the world’s first computer programmer: her place in computer annals and world scientific accomplishments thus secure.

ADA was the name chosen by the US DOD for a popular and powerful program to replace some 500 diverse programming languages then in use.  It is an ISO/IEC standard. AN

2 Comments

  • Tom Rozman

    January 11, 2021 at 7:29 pm

    An excellent comment. Good to recall those who made important conceptual contributions to give context to the present. We sometimes loose a sense of what we owe to the pioneers of thought who have placed so many tools in our hands today that allow us to shape the present and influence our emerging futures.

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