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Women Heroes: Ada Lovelace

When you think about women in computer science, you think about Ada Lovelace. But who is she really and why is she important?


 

Ada Lovelace is widely recognized as one of the most important figures in the history of computer science and is known as the "world's first computer programmer."

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Childhood

Ada Byron was born in London on December 10, 1815, to her high society parents Lord Bryon and Annabella Milbanke. Her father abandoned the family when Ada was only 5 weeks old, and he never returned. When Ada was 8 years old, Lord Bryon passed away. Despite her illness during her childhood, Ada was a passionate and determined student who loved mathematics and logic. Her mother saw her potential and implemented a rigorous education system to support her daughter's interests.






Adult years


Ada's marriage to William King in 1835 elevated her to the status of a countess. Ada Lovelace has earned her place in history as one of the most significant figures in computer science and is renowned as the "world's first computer programmer." Ada became interested in Charles Babbage's work on the analytical engine. She translated an article from mathematician and engineer Luigi Federico Menabrea on the analytical engine with a set of her notes. Her notes are considered to be the first computer program that is an algorithm that is designed to be carried by a machine. Her work on this was cut short when she died of cancer in 1852.


Importance

The pioneering woman was the first to create a computer program for a machine, and also the first to devise an algorithm that could be applied beyond basic calculations. Her groundbreaking work was instrumental inrecognizingg the vast potential of simple binary code consisting of "ones" and "zeros."


Ada Lovelace day

Ada Lovelace Day is celebrated on 10 October 2023 which celebrates the achievements women have made in STEM!



Sources:


by Minnith Susan Nebu






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