Week 1: Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace greatly impacted the development of computing and she is known as the world’s first programmer. She translated a manuscript on the Analytical Engine from Italian to English which allowed more people to read about how to operate the machine, even though it was never built. Lovelace worked a lot with Babbage on his Analytical Engine. She also wrote a large appendix which included methods for calculating a sequence of Bernouli numbers for the Analytical Engine. Lovelace also created a procedure, which manipulated the card-reader to jump to another card in the sequence if a certain condition was satisfied, called the conditional jump. This change allowed computers to go from just computing to almost making decisions about the information being processed because the card-reader could jump to any other card in the sequence.

Ada Lovelace was a British aristocrat so she had many advantages open to her that allowed her to be successful. She had access to the best tutors that helped her with her math and other studies while growing up, the best equipment in a laboratory for her to work with, and she also had access to the latest books to keep up on the research. These allowed her to have access to the most up-to-date information and research. She also had great mathematical talent. At a young age, she could recognize Babbage had made a digital calculator as opposed to an analog calculator. These conditions together allowed her to have a great impact and be successful.

3 thoughts on “Week 1: Ada Lovelace

  1. lazicsmi

    You have done a great job summing up Ada Lvelace’s contributing to the world of computing. Ada dedicated so much time into prevailing and bringing to life; a concept that she deeply understood in her mind. Ada’s analytical and mathematical talents were able to do just that. It is very unfortunate that she passed away at such an early age because she was a prolific individual and would have made even larger contributions to computers as we know them today. Another observation I have made is that although she married at the age of 20, Ada has to an extent, desisted motherhood and marriage due to her yearn for challenge and riddling a concept that she in her mind knew it was possible. From your post, I gather that Ada came from a very privileged family and received only the best education. I have overlooked that concept in my own post.

  2. lopezro9

    It’s interesting how a person’s social status can make a person visible or invisible, and in the case of Ada it’s even more amazing how she was able to showcase her talents to a society dominated by men at the time. It is no wonder she was recognized for two things, to design an engine for the modern computer and be the women who thought of it. For one it is still hard for women to be recognized for achievements today and Ada serves as a role model for all women in their road to success. However like mentioned in phelanro’s blog post Ada had access to the best tutors and books available at the time. Other people like Boole were not recognized like Ada was because he was unknown in that society. I feel like Ada was well taught and raised and was able to demonstrate the world her capabilities, if it weren’t for the little time that she had in this world we would of seen more and heard more of her today.

  3. Alex Galarza

    Rosa did a good job of pointing out an important part of the prompt that Smiljana and Robyn forgot to address. I was looking for students to discuss how Ada was able to accomplish so much as a woman considering the gender dynamics of her time period.

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