Thursday, December 10, 2015
Ada Lovelace (1815-1852)
Ada, daughter of the poet Lord Byron, showed an early talent in mathematics. At age 17 she became a friend of Charles Babbage, inventor of the difference engine and proposed a more complex analytic engine. Babbage gave a talk at the University of Turin and Ada had the task of translating an article written by Italian engineer Luigi Menabrea based on the talk. Ada did more than just translate, she added her own thoughts which included a program that could be run on the analytic engine computing a specific sequence of numbers. The analytic engine never got built and Ada never saw her program run but nevertheless she gets credit as the first computer programmer and most notably in 1980 the US Department of Defense named their preferred computer language "Ada" in her honor.
Here's to Lady Ada Lovelace, born way too far ahead of her time.