The Women that Science Forgot Part 4: Ada Lovelace

Athena SWAN

This series explores women in science who have made significant contributions to their field and yet are relatively unknown. The first part of the series (here) explains why this is the case and explores the idea of cultural femicide. In this fourth part of the series we will meet Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer.

 ada lovelace

Ada Lovelace was the daughter of the famous poet Lord Byron, she was born in 1815 into a wealthy family. She described her approach as ‘Poetic science’ and described herself as an ‘Analyst’. Ada was privately educated in maths and science by William Frend, William King, and Mary Somerville. Her remarkable aptitude in mathematics emerged when she was around 17 and mathematics and it’s study dominated much of her adult life.

In the 1840s Lovelace worked on Babbage’s Analytical Engine, a very early and primitive computer. Between 1842 and 1843 Lovelace translated an article…

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