Week 1 Blog Post: Ada Lovelace

As the ages advance and we enter a world filled with newer and newer technologies, we must ask ourselves where the first signs of “life” in the technological field occurred. The current generation is plagued (for lack of a better term) with a fast-paced, technological environment; often times we can thank Steve Jobs for his inventions and contributions to the tech world. But who, really, was one of the first computer programmers? Who was one to set a foundation for all that we know today? None other than Ada Lovelace. Lovelace, an accomplice to Charles Babbage, invented an “Analytical Engine,” which to the current generation, gave a basis for computer programmers to work off of, helping us achieve the technological age we are in today. Not only did she physically help with the creations of Babbage, but she gave him moral support along the way. She wrote essays for Babbage, set up mathematical proportions, and published notes on Babbage and her’s success. In a field dominated by men, Ada Lovelace was of a special kind to be a women working in such fields of technology. Due to this, Lovelace was able to partake in a secret life of gambling. In addition to this, her mother was portrayed as a typical “Victorian” women; Ada Lovelace, however, was portrayed as wildly intelligent, beautiful, and a loud, outlandish spiret. In turn, this made peers and historians alike fixate on her character, giving her power in not only in the technological realm, but giving her power as a women as well.

3 thoughts on “Week 1 Blog Post: Ada Lovelace

  1. leichtke

    In regards to Ava Lovelace’s ability to succeed in a field dominated by men, you mentioned that her peers and historians admired her character which helped her gain power. While this is true, Ava was also able to have great success because she proved over and over again that she not only had a great mathematical mind, but that she could use her knowledge to create huge advances in technology. By collaborating with Babbage (who also aided in her success by being her mentor), Lovelace became known as the first programmer which allowed her to earn a tremendous amount of respect. Prior to all of her incredible advances, Lovelace had been urged by her mother to study mathematics when she was young. She was tutored by extremely knowledgeable figures such as Augustus De Morgan who was a famous logician. De Morgan was a great female role model for Lovelace and she was able to push and encourage her to continue with her passion in mathematics. Looking at all of these factors, you can see that although her character helped Lovelace to have success as a woman, her tremendous advances in computer programming along with her early start in learning mathematics with great tutors and her natural ability to solve problems all contributed to her success.

  2. grabow51

    In response to your submission, I agree that Ada Lovelace made significant contributions to the computing programming world and her visions were extraordinary. However, a little more detail on her contributions would have added greatly to your response. It is important to note that Ada’s most influential work, which gives her the rightful title of ‘computer programmer’, comes from her development of a method to calculate Bernoulli numbers. Her method for calculating Bernoulli equations included loops and fore loops and If/Then statements, which form the basis of much programming today. Ada’s knowledge and vision for computing was far ahead of her time as the technology to put many of her ideas into motion was not available. Your response regarding Ada’s character could not have been put better. Ada Lovelace was far from any typical women of her time, perhaps her character stems from her father, a famous poet know for his wild ways. Something that was not mentioned, part of her success can be attributed to her mother pushing her to pursue mathematics and music.

  3. Alex Galarza

    Kailei does a good job of linking Babbage and Ada as collaborators, but the reading should have pushed her to describe Ada beyond the terms of ‘accomplice’ and an innovator in her own right whose career was not always dependent on Babbage.

    Kelsey and Chloe are right to point out the need for more detail in Kailei’s post and do a nice job filling in some of the details.

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