Ada Byron

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Ada Byron King (1815 December 10-1852 November 27) was the only legitimate child of the romantic poet Lord Byron. Her full name and title for most of her married life was Lady Augusta Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace. She is widely known in modern times simply as (Lady) Ada Lovelace. She is also referred to in some places as "Ada Augusta" which seems to be certainly wrong. Her husband was William King, later Earl of Lovelace.

Her parents separated shortly after her birth, she never knew her father. Biographies differ as to whether or not she lived with her mother. One claims that her mother dominated her life even after marriage, another claims she never knew either parent.

Privately schooled in mathematics and "natural philosophy", one of her tutors was Augustus De Morgan.

An active member of London Society, she was a member of the bluestockings in her youth.

She also knew Mary Fairfax Somerville, noted researcher and scientific author of the 19th century; who introduced her in turn to Charles Babbage. Others were Sir David Brewster, Charles Wheatstone, Charles Dickens and Michael Faraday.

Ada described (see /notes on the analytical engine) in great detail Charles Babbage's mechanical general purpose computational device which he called the analytical engine. Despite the fact that Babbage never built a working model of his analytical engine, Ada Lovelace specified in complete detail a method for computing Bernoulli numbers with that machine. This is generally considered to be the world's first computer program.

Ada Lovelace died at 37 of cancer, leaving 3 children.

The Ada programming language is named after her.


See also: