Augusta Ada Byron was one of the most incredible women of the 19th century. She was the daughter of the famous English poet Lord Byron.
Ada’s childhood however was sadly not a very happy one. Her parents separated a month after she was born, and her father left England forever. Ada never met her father.
Her mother, Lady Anne Byron raised and educated her daughter in maths and music so that she would not become a poet as a father had been.
Lady Byron had also studied mathematics and with her influence, Ada grew up to become an analyst, inventor, metaphysician, and the founder of scientific computing.
At the age of 13, Ada produced the design for a flying machine. This marked the beginning of a life of mathematics and vision.
Even though her mother pushed her to study and succeed, they were not very close. Ada was closer to her maternal grandmother, Judith Milbank.
Ada was a sickly child and had many headaches and unclear vsion and when she was 14 years old, she caught measles, which left her paralyzed for a few years.
She only began walking, with crutches around the age of 16 but that did not stop her from studying.
During her childhood, she never attended school but was privately tutored by many famous mathematicians.
When Ada was older, she met another scientific author and researcher Mary Somerville who put her in touch with Charles Babbage in 1833. Babbage was the inventor of the computer.
They kept in touch and worked together, and Babbage was impressed by Ada’s cleverness with maths and numbers.
Her interest in Babbage’s ideas on the Difference Engine and the Analytical Engine was the beginning of her legacy.
When she was translating a memoir of Babbage’s Analytical Machine, she included a section that showed how to calculate a bunch of Bernoulli numbers using this machine.
Even though at that time the Analytical Machine was not built (it was finally completed in London in 2002), at that time her work was regarded as the very first computer program.
Soon after this, they fought over a professional issue but became friends again even though many thought that Babbage was only friends with her because she was wealthy.
Anyhow, Ada Lovelace’s life was cut short at the age of thirty-six when she died of cancer on the 27th of November 1852.
She had married at some point but sadly, she and her husband were not talking when she passed away. Her mother took control of her life even at the end of it.
Even though Ada’s notes on the algorithm for Babbage’s Analytical Engine never became a reality during her lifetime, she is considered the first person who made a computer programme.
She asked to be buried next to her father at the Church of St. Mary in Nottingham, where she rests even today.
Her incredible contribution over a century ago paved the way for modern computer scientists, and software engineers to invent computer programs that have changed the many aspects of our lives today.