The The Enchantress of Numbers, Ada Lovelace
I bet when you hear the words ‘computer programming’, you think of an 1800’s Countess. If not, you will from now on! Today, the 8th of October 2019, is Ada Lovelace Day, a woman who helped pioneer the computer and is known as the ‘First Computer Programmer’. These days we are surrounded by computers, and it is hard to imagine a world without them. They control all the big and small machines in our homes and at work, from our smartphones in our hands to the massive Boeing 747 flying overhead. This would not have been possible without the help of genius British Mathematician, Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852) known in full as Ada King, Countess of Lovelace.
She was raised by her mother, a single parent, and also an intelligent mathematician and strong woman. She insisted Ada learned mathematics and science. This was remarkable in itself, as a woman being educated in these subjects was unheard of in the day. Ada flourished. She had a sharp mind and was fascinated with machines. She even conceptualized a flying machine by the age of 12.
When she was 17, she met Charles Babbage, the ‘father of the computer’. As she was already fascinated with machines, she became enthralled in his inventions. Ada’s intellect left a mark, and he became her mentor. Babbage went on to invent the Analytical Calculator, and this design was the first machine to resemble the modern computers we use now. Ada studied his machines relentlessly for years. As his protégé, Ada was commissioned to translate a French article about this machine to English. She added her thoughts and notes to this translation, tripling the size of the document. It is this very document that her intelligence and comprehension shone through. Before Ada wrote her notes, this great invention’s potential was mostly unknown. It is in these notes that she was able to articulate the computer’s mechanism and capabilities better than even Babbage had concluded. Her lasting legacy would come from her instructions for the machines operating cards. These programming instructions, to calculate Bernoulli numbers, was the first-ever published lines of computer code, making her the first computer programmer even. She was published in 1843 when she was only in her late 20s.
She was a remarkable woman who was is not only a shining example of women’s ability to be exceptional but also highlights the necessity for women to be unhindered. Her status allowed her to do things that women of the same day were usually unable to. To think, if all women were able to have the same education and opportunities as Ada did, what else could have been invented by the ingenuity of an empowered woman?
We at Qdai write all our blogs on computers that are based on the early version that Ada Lovelace studied and wrote the first computer program for. She revolutionalized our lives! Qdai is a brand built by one woman who has been empowered by women just like Ada Lovelace. Who knows where that empowerment will take her and how it may redefine someone’s life?