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Ada, Countess of Lovelace | by janet7r
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Ada, Countess of Lovelace

This striking board is one of a group on the approach to the north Nottinghamshire village of Hucknall. The Visitors Centre in the church gave this information

'Augusta Ada Byron was born 10th December, 1815. Brought up by her mother following her parents separation she was encouraged to develop her mathematical and scientific interests. In Spring, 1834, she met Mary Somerville who had just published her work on mathematical astronomy, and Charles Babbage, who was beginning to develop plans for an Analytical Engine, in June of that year. Babbage developed the ideas for his machine at a sminar in Italy and an Italian mathematician, Menebrea, wrote a learned article on the subject. Ada translated the article into English and added footnotes and explanatory sections of her own which greatly improved and developed the original. Published in 1843 Ada speculated that such a machine might be used to compose complex music, produce graphics and have practical and scientific use. Based on examples provided by Babbage she worked out the steps by which the engine would calculate the results of mathematical problems.

 

These were the first published examples of "computer programmes" and a software language developed by the US Dept. of Defence was named "ADA" in her honour in 1979. Ada was more than a century ahead of her time and although computer science did not exist in her lifetime she develped ideas that only came to be recognised and understood in modern times. In 1834 she married the Earl of Lovelace. When she died of cancer, aged 36 like her father, she was buried at her own request by his side in the Byron Vault, the last member of the family to be buried there, in 1852.'

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Uploaded on July 7, 2008