The world of computer science is a fast-evolving one. Be it the farming, textile, entertainment of any other industry, computer science has proved to increase the efficiency and give the much-needed drive. With emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Big Data and others, our lives are made simple. But where did we start? Who was the first computer science programmer? Let’s learn more about Ada Lovelace – The Mother Of Computer Science.
Ada was born on December 10, 1815, as Augusta Ada Byron on December 10, 1815. She was the daughter of the famed romantic poet Lord George Gordon Byron and Lady Anne Isabella Milbanke Byron, a mathematician. Her parents separated when she was an infant. Her mother ensured that Ada will be focused and tutored science, logic, and mathematics.
From an early age, Ada showed her interest and talent for language and numbers. She received mentorship from renowned social reformer William Frend, the family doctor William King and Mary Sommerville, a Scottish astronomer and mathematician who was one of the first women to be admitted into the Royal Astronomical Society.
On July 8th, 1835, at the age of 18, Ada married an aristocrat, William King-Noel. In 1838, William King was named “The Earl Of Lovelace“. Lady Ada King was named the “Countess Of Lovelace”. Since then, she was fondly called Ada Lovelace. They had three children. Byron, Anna Isabelle and Ralph Gordon.
However, the turning point of her life was her acquaintance with Charles Babbage, The Father Of Computer. In 1833, her mentor Mary Sommerville introduced her to Babbage, the renowned Lucasian Professor of Mathematics. They shared their love for mathematics and had striking personalities. Sooner, they became close friends. Baggage often described Ada as “The Enchantress of Numbers”.
Ada had an immense curiosity by Babbage’s plans for a complicated device which he called the Analytic Engine. The engine was a complex modification of his earlier Difference Engine. The Analytic Engine was never made but had all the essential elements of a modern computer.
In 1842, Ada translated an article describing the engine from a manuscript written by Luigi Menabrea, an Italian Mathematician. Realising that she understood the machine well, Babbage asked her to expand the article. Ada completed the article which contained several of the early ‘computer programs’. The complete article had predictive observations of the potential of the machine, which included the manipulation of symbols and the creation of music. Though Babbage completed the programs for the machine, Lovelace’s article was more accurate and first published. Hence, she is often referred to as “The First Computer Programmer“.
“Imagination is the Discovering Faculty, pre-eminently. It is that which penetrates into the unseen worlds around us, the worlds of Science.” – Ada Lovelace
On 27 November 1852, Ada Lovelace passed due to uterine cancer at the age of 36. Ada’s contributions to the field of computer science were unknown to the world until 1950 when her notes were reintroduced to the world by B.V. Bowden. He republished her article in Faster Than Thought: A Symposium on Digital Computing Machines in 1953. Ada Lovelace received various accolades posthumously.
Her vast potential, determination, and her passion and vision for technology made her a powerful symbol for the modern computer science enthusiasts. The world celebrates the second Tuesday in October as Ada Lovelace Day, an international day celebrating the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we would like to thank Ada Lovelace and millions of other women for their efforts and contribution to the rise of innovation and technology. We, the 2Base family would like to extend our love and support to the women who wish to make a difference in the innovative field of computer science.
“Women shouldn’t be afraid to put themselves forward.” – Sarah Wood