Ada's Algorithm

Ada's Algorithm

How Lord Byron's Daughter Ada Lovelace Launched the Digital Age

Book - 2014
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Behind every great man, there's a great woman; no other adage more aptly describes the relationship between Charles Babbage, the man credited with thinking up the concept of the programmable computer, and mathematician Ada Lovelace, whose contributions, according to Essinger, proved indispensable to Babbage's invention. The Analytical Engine was a series of cogwheels, gear-shafts, camshafts, and power transmission rods controlled by a punch-card system based on the Jacquard loom. Lovelace, the only legitimate child of English poet Lord Byron, wrote extensive notes about the machine, including an algorithm to compute a long sequence of Bernoulli numbers, which some observers now consider to be the world's first computer program.
Publisher: Brooklyn, NY :, Melville House,, [2014]
ISBN: 9781612194080
Branch Call Number: BIO LOVELACE A. COUNTESS Essinger 10/2014
Characteristics: xvi, 254 pages :,illustrations ;,22 cm


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May 27, 2018

Ada's position in the history of computing science is either dramatically overstated or dramatically understated, depending on which historian is speaking at the time. In this well researched biography, James Essinger aims to prove how Ada Lovelace's singular contribution to the digital age has been vastly overlooked. I can't agree with Essinger's opinion here; however, regardless of her involvement with early computing, Ada Lovelace remains a very interesting historical figure for many other reasons.

Dec 14, 2015

It is sad that women in the 19th century were so undervalued. Ada Lovelace was a genius, who wrote the first computer program back in 1843. Her partnership with Charles Babbage is the stuff of legends, except it is a true story. Was their relationship more intimate than the correspondence they shared? We don't know. The fact they were rebuffed by their own government demonstrates how further along in technology we would be at NOW if we had just made the computer back then.


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