Pioneers of Computing: Ada Lovelace

Computer programmers are often stereotyped as geeky males, but the person often regarded as the first programmer was a woman, Ada, Lady Lovelace, daughter of poet Lord Byron.

Ada, Lady Lovelace
Picture from Wikipedia.

Throughout her life, Lovelace was interested in science and mathematics and pursued a number of projects. Through a mutual colleague, she was introduced to Cambridge professor Charles Babbage, developer of a mechanical computer, the Analytical Engine.

One of her projects was to translate a paper about the Analytical Engine from Italian into English. She added her own notes, which included an algorithm for computing certain formulas. That set of instructions is usually regarded as the first "program." The programming language "Ada" is named in her honor.

You can read more about this amazing woman at —

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Updated February 9, 2014.