25 January 2014

random science 28: Ada Byron 1815-1852

meet the First Lady of computer programming


 " ...The idea of a machine that could manipulate symbols in accordance with rules and that number could represent entities other than quantity mark the fundamental transition from calculation to computation. Ada was the first to explicitly articulate this notion and in this she appears to have seen further than Babbage. She has been referred to as 'prophet of the computer age'... " The Babbage Engine, Computer History Museum

 " ...born December 10, 1815 the daughter of the illustrious poet, Lord Byron. Five weeks after Ada was born Lady Byron...was awarded sole custody of Ada who she brought up to be a mathematician and scientist. Lady Byron was terrified that Ada might end up being a poet like her father. Despite Lady Byron's programming Ada did not sublimate her poetical inclinations... In her 30's she wrote her mother, if you can't give me poetry, can't you give me "poetical science?" Her understanding of mathematics was laced with imagination, and described in metaphors... " by Dr. Betty Toole on Biographies of Women Mathematicians


Computer History Museum
Biographies of Women Mathematicians
all images sourced from Wikimedia
Wikipedia bio 
Ada, The Enchantress of Numbers: Poetical Science   by Betty Alexandra Toole, Ed.D.


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