Ada Lovelace, known as the first computer programmer was born on December. 10 1815, almost 100 years before electronic digital computers invented. Lovelace has recognized as a role model to girls studying engineering, science, technology as well as math (STEM). Twelve biographies for younger readers published to celebrate the 200th anniversary of her birth in the year 2015. And in the year 2018, The New York Times included her biography in the list. As among the most important missing obituaries of women in the wake of the MeToo campaign.
However, Lovelace who was officially Ada King, Countess of Lovelace after her marriage was a pioneer in many fields. To create her unique work, which included languages needlecraft and music as well as mathematical logic. Being aware that her broad education helped her accomplish work. That was past her times, she was able to be a role model to every student, not just girls.
Lovelace was the son of the scandal-stricken romance poet George Gordon Byron. Aka Lord Byron and his well-educated, strictly religious bride Anne Isabella Noel Byron. Popularly referred to by the name of Lady Byron. The couple divorced shortly after the birth of her daughter. In a period when women not permitted to own property and enjoyed limited rights. Under the law Her mother was able to obtain the custody rights of her child.
Growing up in a wealthy noble family, Lovelace taught by her home tutors. As was the norm for girls of her age. She taught French and Italian as well as music, and the appropriate crafts like embroidery. Atypical for a girl at the period, she also pursued math. Lovelace continued to collaborate with math tutors throughout her adulthood, and she later consulted with the mathematician and logician Augustus De Morgan at London University on symbolic logic.
Lovelace took inspiration from the lessons of all these while writing her computer program. In real life, it actually an instruction set for a mechanical calculator which built with pieces. The computer at issue the Analytical Engine created by the mathematician, philosopher, also the inventor Charles Babbage. Lovelace had come across Babbage at the time they introduced into London society. They bonded with one another due to their shared enthusiasm for math’s and with mechanical calculation.
At the beginning of 1840, Babbage had won and had to forfeit government funding for a mathematical calculator, and had a dispute over the master craftsman who was building the exact parts for the machine and appeared near to abandoning the project. In this moment, Lovelace stepped in as an advocate.
To bring Babbage’s calculator to an British public, Lovelace proposed to translate into English an article that explained an Analytical Engine. This article written French written by Italian mathematics professor Luigi Menabrea and published in the Swiss journal. The scholars believe that Babbage helped her add remarks of her own.
Her notes that ultimately grew to be more than twice the length of the original piece, Lovelace drew on different areas of her studies. Lovelace began by explaining how to encode instructions on cards that had punched holes similar to those used in the Jacquard weaving loom, which was a patent-pending device in 1804 which used punched cards for automating weaving patterns on textile.
As a person who learned embroidery, Lovelace familiar with the patterns that used in crafts. The same repetitive steps required to calculate mathematical equations. To prevent duplicated cards to perform repetitive tasks, Lovelace used loops, loops with nested loops, and conditional tests in her program’s instructions.
The notes also provided guidelines on how you could calculate Bernoulli numbers and other numbers, which Lovelace learned from her studies to be crucial for the study of mathematics. Her program proved how Analytical Engine Analytical Engine had the capability of performing calculations that had not manually performed. In the same way, Lovelace noted that the machine could only obey instructions, and did not originate anything.
In the end, Lovelace recognized that the numbers that were manipulated in the Analytical Engine could be considered other kinds of symbols like musical notes. A talented pianist and singer, Lovelace was familiar with musical notation symbols, which represent aspects of music performance such as duration and pitch, and she was able to manipulate symbolic symbols when she communicated and correspondence with De Morgan. It was not a big move for her to understand that an Analytical Engine could process symbols not just crunch numbers as well as compose songs.
A Multi-Faceted Thinker
The invention of computer programming wasn’t the only time Lovelace utilized her knowledge of different fields in order to tackle a brand new topic. As an infant was fascinated by flying machines. In a way, combining mechanics, biology as well as poetry pleaded with the mother to get anatomical textbooks to learn about the purpose of wings on birds. She constructed and played with wings. In writings, she expressed her desire for her mother using the language of flight.
Despite her talent in mathematics and logic, Lovelace didn’t pursue a science-related career. She was a self-made millionaire and didn’t earn income from her scientific endeavors. It was not uncommon in an era where freedom and financial independence was associated with the capacity to objectively carry out scientific research.
Additionally, Lovelace devoted just over an entire year to her one publication, a translation Menabrea’s papers and notes on an Analytical Engine. Also, during her time ended due to cancer at 37, she was a teetering between music, math and her mother’s demands. She also had to taking care of her 3 children and then an addiction to gambling. Lovelace could not be the most obvious role model for an female scientist for women of today.
In contrast, I find Lovelace’s method of drawing upon her broad education to resolve difficult issues inspiring. It’s true that she lived prior to the advent of the scientific specialization. In fact, Babbage was an expert in mathematical calculations and mechanical invention. He also published a work on industrial manufacturing, and another on the religious implications of creationism.
However, Lovelace utilized knowledge of what we consider as different areas within the arts, sciences, and humanities. An intelligent thinker, she devised solutions that were way ahead of the times.