Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

Don’t know who Ada Lovelace is? Yeah I didn’t either till kind of recently. Here’s the deal. Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to celebrate the achievements of women in technology and science. Geek girrrls unite!

From the Finding Ada website:

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace was born on 10th December 1815, the only child of Lord Byron and his wife, Annabella. Born Augusta Ada Byron, but now known simply as Ada Lovelace, she wrote the world’s first computer programmes for the Analytical Engine, a general-purpose machine that Charles Babbage had invented.

Ada had been taught mathematics from a very young age by her mother and met Babbage in 1833. Ten years later she translated Luigi Menabrea’s memoir on Babbage’s Analytical Engine, appending notes that included a method for calculating Bernoulli numbers with the machine – the first computer programme. The calculations were never carried out, as the machine was never built. She also wrote the very first description of a computer and of software.

Understanding that computers could do a lot more than just crunch numbers, Ada suggested that the Analytical Engine “might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent.” She never had the chance to fully explore the possibilities of either Babbage’s inventions or her own understanding of computing. She died, aged only 36, on 27th November 1852, of cancer and bloodletting by her physicians.

Anyway, Ada was a cool chick and it’s sad that I knew about Babbage but had no idea about Ada. Go to the Finding Ada site and see what it’s all about. It’s time the ladies got repped a little better for their contributions.

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