So, I've been hearing about this mystery lady today named Ada Lovelace, and decided that I needed to find out more about her and what she's all about. The cool thing is, I found out some pretty interesting stuff, and it's essentially thanks to her early work and thinking that it was possible for me to do so, all in the comfort of my home on my laptop.
As it turns out, Ada was an English writer who came to be known for her work on Charles Babbage's early computer, dubbed "the analytical engine." Her notes on the engine, which was not yet even built (can you even imagine reviewing the plans for the machine on the left and making sense of them?!), include what is referred to as the first algorithm to be processed by a machine. Due to this work, she is referred to as the world's first computer programmer. Ada also believed that computers could be used for more than calculations and numbers functions, from scientific research to composing music and producing graphics -- and here we sit today!
Interestingly enough, I read in one article that the U.S. Defense Department named their new standardized computer programming language "Ada" on December 10, 1980, Ada's birthday. It is said that her image can be seen on the Microsoft product authenticity hologram stickers on Microsoft products.
March 24th is now the day that many refer to as Ada Lovelace Day, a day to celebrate the achievements of women in technology and science.
For a quick overview of Ada Lovelace and her life, take a look at this presentation by Andra Keay, who says:
For Ada Lovelace Day, I wanted to share some of the fascinating story of the world's first computer; Charles Babbage, the genius engineer; and Ada Lovelace, the Enchantress of Numbers, mathematician, visionary and world's first coder.
Thanks, Ada, where ever you are, for paving the way for women like us!