Ada Lovelace: Computer Programmer

Augusta Ada Byron was born in London on 10th December 1815. She was the only child born during Lord George Gordon Byron and Lady Anne Isabella Milbanke Byron. Her parents separated just weeks after she was born, her father left England just a few months later and this would be the last time Ada ever saw her father. Her mother loved mathematics and made sure her daughter received tuition for maths and science. Soon Ada started showing a flair for Mathematics and Language. At age at 17 one of Ada’s tutors, Mary Sommerville, introduced her to Charles Babbage a Professor of Mathematics. Ada and Charles started to hit it off and became close lifelong friends.

Ada age 4

Ada age 4

In 1845 Babbage asked Ada to translate an Italian article that had been written about his machine the Analytical Engine. Ada not only translated the article but added her own notes, at Babbage’s request. In the end her piece ended up being three times the original length. Ada’s notes ended up being the most complete and elaborate to be made on the engine. In 1843 her work was publish in a science journal with Ada only using her initials as a pseudonym, it was also the first one out of any notes on the engine to be published.

Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace

Babbage described Ada as an “Enchantress of Numbers” and her work has made her become considered as the first computer programmer.

At age 19 Ada married William King and three years later they became Ear and Countess of Lovelace, this is when she became known as Ada Lovelace. Ada and William had three children together and he supported his wife’s academic enterprises.

On 27th November 1852 Ada died at the age of 36 from uterine cancer.

Ada’s work was never fully discovered until after her death. Ada’s notes helped Alan Turning create the first modern computers almost 100 years later.

Lovelace, Ada 3


Finding Ada