Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron and Annabella Millbanke, was born on December 10, 1815. After her parents separation, she was raised alone by her mother. Annabella was determined that her daughter would not fall victim to the ways of her, “mad, bad, and dangerous to know”- father. Annabella further believed that the way to avoid such madness was to strengthen one’s mind. Therefore, despite a very sickly childhood which often kept her bedridden, Ada was given an intense education focusing on science and math.
During this time, Ada was tutored by such notables as the social reformer, William Frend; the polymath, Mary Somerville; and the British mathmatician, Augustus De Morgan.
On June 5, 1833, Mary Somerville introduced Ada to Charles Babbage, the English mechanical engineer and inventor. They corresponded often regarding Babbage’s plans for building a Difference Engine, and later, an Analytical Engine. Impressed by Ada’s scientific mind and passion for mathematics, Babbage nicknamed her, “The Enchantress of Numbers”.
In 1843, Ada translated an Italian article on Babbage’s plans for his Analytical Engine. In her notes, she advanced a process for calculating an order of Bernoulli numbers. Unfortunately, the Analytical Engine was never built in their lifetime due to lack of funds. However, it has been discovered that her sequence of numbers would have run perfectly. Thus, Ada is considered to be the very first computer progammer in the world.
Ada Lovelace died of uterine cancer on November 27, 1852. She was thirty-seven.
The United States Department of Defense named the computer language, Ada, in her honor.