Ask this question to many, even from the field of computer science, and you’ll see a stoic question mark in their expression and silence galore. Well, let’s break this silence with the answer. A lady known by the name Ada Lovelace, was the first computer programmer of the world. Technologist Suw Charman-Anderson, founded October 2 as Ada Lovelace Day in 2009. It is a day in the memory of this lady and to celebrate the achievements of women in the field of stem careers (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
Born in 1815, Ada Lovelace was the child of poet Lord Byron. Her mathematical talents brought her in contact with Charles Baggage, known to be the father of computers and the relationship blossomed as that of a long term working relationship and friendship.
Ada wrote her first computer program or an algorithm in the year 1842-43. That time it was known as Notes as she had taken and article of Italian Military Engineer Luigi Menabrea and translated it. She further added an elaborate set of notes to it.. (read the first computer program designed for the machine to carry out). Lovelace’s notes hold a great significance in the early history of computers. Baggage and many others concentrated on the capabilities of computers, but Lovelace thought beyond the capabilities that included sheer computing or number crunching. Her mathematical abilities were clearly described by mathematician and logician Augustus De Morgan in a letter to Lady Byron, her mother. He suggested in the letter that the mathematical skills of Ada could lead her to become “an original mathematical investigator”, perhaps of first rate eminence”.
As per love lace, metaphysics was equally important as was mathematics for exploring the unexplored world around. She also believed in imagination and intuition. The United States Department of Defense developed a computer language Ada, named after Lovelace. One of the London’s tunnel boring machines used for excavation of London’s Cross rail project is named after Ada.
Besides, The United States Senate considered and approved the designation of October 9, 2018 as National Ada Lovelace Day in order to honor her contribution as a leading woman in Science and Mathematics as proposed by Senator Ron Wyden on July 27, 2018.
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