Women in Science and Technology: Ada Lovelace Day

October 16 is Ada Lovelace Day. Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852) was an English mathematician who is sometimes considered the first computer programmer. In 1843 she helped Charles Babbage with the design for his Analytical Engine – a mechanical computer. Her notes on how to program the machine were some of the world’s first computer algorithms.However, neither Babbage nor Lovelace lived to see the Analytical Engine built – the engineering precision required to build the machine were not possible at the time, and it was not until 1991 that a full version of it could be constructed.

The computer programming language Ada, commonly used in military and other safety critical systems, was named after Ada Lovelace.

Babbage’s Difference Engine 2, an early mechanical computer

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