Question #1 – Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace has been called the first programmer of time, and for good reason. Her understanding of Babbage’s Analytical Engine was profound. She was an amazing mathematician as well as an incredible logician. Having such a strong interest and skill in these areas allowed Ada to understand computing and programming on an analog machine to an unbelievable level. (Rheingold, p. 25-44).

Ada Lovelace is directly credited for creating such programming instructions as: subroutines, loops and jumps. The most notable programing instruction would probably be the “If/Then Statement.” With the creation of the If/Then statement, it allowed a computing machine to essentially make decisions, based on the information input to the machine. Her creation of making a way for the Analytical Engine to “call” for information stored on punch cards from its “library” is yet another example of her programing that is used in nearly every program the exists today. Ada was well beyond her time for creating and understanding the workings of computer programing (Rheingold, p. 25-44).

Being a British aristocrat during the height of Britain’s height of their empire had a dynamic impact on Ada’s and Babbage’s lives (Rheingold, p. 25-44). Britain provided large sums of money to Babbage to experiment on the Analytical Engine. This all equaled that Ada Lovelace had the finest equipment, mentors and scholarly books that money and an empire could provide (Rheingold, p. 25-44). Ada was extremely good at expressing her thoughts and ideas too. She was able to elaborate more thoroughly on Babbage’s work than he could and provided translations of works that even furthered her work in computer programing.

Rheingold, Howard (2000) The First Programmer Was a Lady. In Tools for Thought (pp. 25-44)

2 thoughts on “Question #1 – Ada Lovelace

  1. almerkel

    I completely agree with your response to the prompt given in week 1 on Ada Lovelace. Ada’s ability to comprehend all of the information given to her in a different language and the skill to translate that into something that could be understood in English is not a skill a vast majority of polyglots. Just to be considered a polyglot is a skill that took mass amounts of time as it is.
    I am assuming that Lovelace and Babbage were ‘wealthy’ individuals during the time that they were alive considering that Britain gave them such large sums of money to use at their disposal. Mentors, books, transcripts, journals, and all other supplies were probably valuable and the only print available. The fact that this information was given to a woman in the 19th century, when women were probably not viewed as being ‘capable’ enough to reach such information, is quite an honor. Her work, as a woman and the mathematical work in general, is quite a feat to accomplish.

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