Getting to Know Ada Lovelace, the First Woman Programmer in History

Getting to Know Ada Lovelace, the First Woman Programmer in History

The perception of the world of technology is still very thick with the dominance of men. Call them the founders and CEOs of giant technology companies, such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and many other masculine names.

However, long before these names appeared, there was a woman who was very instrumental in the forerunner of technological development.

There is Ada Lovelace, who was recorded by history as the world’s first computer programmer. Who is Charles Babbage and where is his brain

To celebrate International Women’s Day or International Women’s Day 8 March, Ada Lovelace who contributed to the development of computers today.

Born to a poet and mathematician

Ada Lovelace’s full name is Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace.
She was born on December 10, 1815, with the name Ada Byron.

His father, George Gordon Buron, was a famous poet at the time. Byron married Annabella Milbanke, a female mathematician who was known to be quiet.

However, their marriage did not last long. Long story short, his father and mother divorced not long after Lovelace was born. Lovelace herself had never met her father who died in Greece when she was 8 years old.

Lovelace was raised by her mother, but she is closer to her grandmother. Because his mother was quite strict in educating Lovelace.

Her mother did not want Lovelace to have an interest in literature that her father inherited. Thus, Annabella fed her daughter with knowledge of science and mathematics from the age of four.

Apart from mathematics, Lovelace was also required to study music and French, which was the lingua franca of Great Britain at that time.

At that time, women did not have the opportunity to receive higher education up to the university level. Noblewomen like the Lovelace family were educated privately.

Interested in Engineering

As a teenager, Lovelace’s interest in the world of literature began to grow even though his mother tried to restrain him. History of Computers and Its Development from Time to Time

At the age of 12, Lovelace also became interested in the world of mechanical engineering and wrote a book entitled “Flyology”, which contains plans to make flying equipment.

He was interested in how machines work when he came across the Jacquard loom, which was invented in 1801. It produces textiles with woven patterns.

The loom is controlled by punched cards, where one card controls a row of woven textiles. If the card is punched, the woven thread will lift, but if it is not punched the thread will release itself.

In other words, punched cards are like issuing instructions to a loom. In Ada’s eyes, it is a language alias machine code.

Meet Charles Babbage the Father of Computers

The most important point of Lovelace’s career was when he attended an event organized by polymetric (cross-field scientist), Charles Babbage who later became known as the Father of Computers.

At that time, Lovelace was only 17 years old. During the event, Babbage demonstrated a calculating engine called the Difference Engine that he was developing.

Seeing the demonstration, Lovelace, who has an affinity for numbers and language, was captivated in a different way. In his eyes, Babbage’s calculating machine was beautiful.

He also asked Babbage to be his mentor. It was this collaboration with Babbage that led Lovelace to create computer programming.

Before continuing his work as a mathematician, Lovelace married William King at the age of 19 and had three children. After marriage, he resumed his work in mathematics.

Lovelace was also given a job opportunity by Professor Augustus De Morgan of University College London. He also continued to study advanced mathematics with his friend, Mary Somerville.

Algorithm ideas and modern computers

Around the 1840s, Lovelace published an article in French translation entitled “Notions sur la machine analytique de Charles Babbage” (Ideas on Analytical Machines written by Charles Babbage). The article was written by Italian engineer Luigi Menabrea.

In the article, Lovelace adds his extensive notes on his own ideas.

Launching Brain Pickings, Lovelace made four main points on his record. First, Lovelace envisioned a versatile machine that could not only perform pre-programmed tasks but could also be reprogrammed for unlimited operations.

The second point, the machine can not only perform mathematical calculations but can also process music and artistic notation.

Third, is an outline of the steps for creating what today are called computer program algorithms. Lastly, is a projection machine that can think for itself.

Many sources say that the idea of ​​Lovelace did not attract much world attention at that time. In fact, his ideas began to get a lot of attention after he died. A number of awards were given to him even though he was dead.

Ada Lovelace Dead

Ada Lovelace died in London, England on November 27, 1852. Records of Lovelace’s ideas were reintroduced to the public by BV Bowden. Bowden published it in a book called Faster Than Thought: A Symposium in Digital Computing Machines.

As a form of respect, the name Ada Lovelace is also used to name the early programming language given by the US Department of Defense.

Now, every Tuesday in the second week of October, it is designated as Ada Lovelace Day, in honor of Ada’s contributions to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Ada Lovelace is one of the most important women in the history of world technology. With her uniqueness that marries an interest in numbers and language, Ada is able to make new breakthroughs in computing.

He identified a completely new concept. Ada realized that analytical machines could be more than just numbers, and that was the initial perception of modern computers, where machines could contribute to other areas of human endeavor, including making music.

Lovelace understood that anything that could be turned into numbers, such as music, or the alphabet (language) or pictures, could be manipulated by computer algorithms.

For Lovelace, analytical engines have the potential to revolutionize the way apes are all over the world, not just the world of mathematics.

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