Ada Lovelace Meets Charles Babbage - Computing History
Renowned scientist Stephen Wolfram dives into the relationship that gave birth to the age of computers. Looking at a letter from Ada Lovelace to Charles Babbage in the British Library #### The Early Life of Ada Her father, Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron) was 27 years old, and had just achieved. Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly Lovelace's notes are important in the early history of computers. She also She did not have a relationship with her father. He died in when . Born two centuries ago, Ada Lovelace was a pioneer of computing science. Her father was the brilliant, yet notorious poet Lord Byron (mad, bad and . “ Supposing, for instance, that the fundamental relations of pitched sounds in the science.
They began to correspond about science, math and just about everything else. Ina year before Ada married, Babbage had begun to plan what he called an Analytical Engine— a proposed computing system that used punched cards to multiply and divide numbers and perform a variety of data tasks. When an Italian engineer wrote an article in French on the machine, Ada translated it into English. But she demonstrated her intellectual prowess with a vision of using the machine to do things other than basic math.
Would her program have worked?
Who is Ada Lovelace – the current Google Doodle?
Ada, a language that changed modern computing. By the s, the U. S Department of Defense was spending billions on embedded computing systems—code that was part of machines instead of a common language used by all. In an attempt to consolidate military computing and save money, the D.
The result was Ada, named after the computing pioneer. Ada is still used worldwide today. But as Annalee Newitz writes for io9she was never completely forgotten. In fact, you merely confirm what I have for years and years felt scarcely a doubt about, but should have considered it most improper in me to hint to you that I in any way suspected.
This went disastrously wrong, leaving her thousands of pounds in debt to the syndicate, forcing her to admit it all to her husband. John Crosse destroyed most of their correspondence after her death as part of a legal agreement.
She bequeathed him the only heirlooms her father had personally left to her. She was privately schooled in mathematics and science by William FrendWilliam King[a] and Mary Somervillethe noted 19th-century researcher and scientific author.
One of her later tutors was the mathematician and logician Augustus De Morgan.
Fromwhen she was seventeen, her mathematical abilities began to emerge,  and her interest in mathematics dominated the majority of her adult life. In a letter to Lady Byron, De Morgan suggested that her daughter's skill in mathematics could lead her to become "an original mathematical investigator, perhaps of first-rate eminence". While studying differential calculusshe wrote to De Morgan: I may remark that the curious transformations many formulae can undergo, the unsuspected and to a beginner apparently impossible identity of forms exceedingly dissimilar at first sight, is I think one of the chief difficulties in the early part of mathematical studies.
I am often reminded of certain sprites and fairies one reads of, who are at one's elbows in one shape now, and the next minute in a form most dissimilar  Lovelace believed that intuition and imagination were critical to effectively applying mathematical and scientific concepts. She valued metaphysics as much as mathematics, viewing both as tools for exploring "the unseen worlds around us". Although in great pain at the time, she agreed to sit for the painting as her father, Lord Byronhad been painted by Phillips' father, Thomas Phillips.
Under her mother's influence, she had a religious transformation and was coaxed into repenting of her previous conduct and making Annabella her executor. It is not known what she told him. Mary Magdalene in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire. A memorial plaque in Latin to her and her father is in the chapel attached to Horsley Towers.
Work Throughout her life, Lovelace was strongly interested in scientific developments and fads of the day, including phrenology  and mesmerism. In she commented to a friend Woronzow Greig about her desire to create a mathematical model for how the brain gives rise to thoughts and nerves to feelings "a calculus of the nervous system".
In part, her interest in the brain came from a long-running pre-occupation, inherited from her mother, about her 'potential' madness. As part of her research into this project, she visited the electrical engineer Andrew Crosse in to learn how to carry out electrical experiments.
Later that month Babbage invited Lovelace to see the prototype for his Difference Engine.
Five Things to Know About Ada Lovelace | Smart News | Smithsonian
Babbage was impressed by Lovelace's intellect and analytic skills. He called her "The Enchantress of Number". Forget this world and all its troubles and if possible its multitudinous Charlatans—every thing in short but the Enchantress of Number. With the article, she appended a set of notes. She wrote that "The Analytical Engine has no pretensions whatever to originate anything.
Ada Lovelace - Wikipedia
It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform. It can follow analysis; but it has no power of anticipating any analytical relations or truths. When Taylor 's Scientific Memoirs ruled that the statement should be signed, Babbage wrote to Lovelace asking her to withdraw the paper.
This was the first that she knew he was leaving it unsigned, and she wrote back refusing to withdraw the paper. The historian Benjamin Woolley theorised that: Part of the terrace at Worthy Manor was known as Philosopher's Walk, as it was there that Lovelace and Babbage were reputed to have walked while discussing mathematical principles. She then augmented the paper with notes, which were added to the translation. Ada Lovelace spent the better part of a year doing this, assisted with input from Babbage.
These notes, which are more extensive than Menabrea's paper, were then published in the September edition of Taylor's Scientific Memoirs under the initialism AAL. In note G, she describes an algorithm for the Analytical Engine to compute Bernoulli numbers. It is considered to be the first published algorithm ever specifically tailored for implementation on a computer, and Ada Lovelace has often been cited as the first computer programmer for this reason.
Bowden 's Faster than Thought: A Symposium on Digital Computing Machines. In her notes, she wrote: Supposing, for instance, that the fundamental relations of pitched sounds in the science of harmony and of musical composition were susceptible of such expression and adaptations, the engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent.
Walter Isaacson ascribes Lovelace's insight regarding the application of computing to any process based on logical symbols to an observation about textiles: Ada saw something that Babbage in some sense failed to see. In Babbage's world his engines were bound by number What Lovelace saw—what Ada Byron saw—was that number could represent entities other than quantity. So once you had a machine for manipulating numbers, if those numbers represented other things, letters, musical notes, then the machine could manipulate symbols of which number was one instance, according to rules.
It is this fundamental transition from a machine which is a number cruncher to a machine for manipulating symbols according to rules that is the fundamental transition from calculation to computation—to general-purpose computation—and looking back from the present high ground of modern computing, if we are looking and sifting history for that transition, then that transition was made explicitly by Ada in that paper.
Bromleyin the article Difference and Analytical Engines: All but one of the programs cited in her notes had been prepared by Babbage from three to seven years earlier. The exception was prepared by Babbage for her, although she did detect a 'bug' in it.