Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

October 14, 2014

1:30 pm

October 14 is Ada Lovelace Day, commemorating the world’s first computer programmer.

In the mid-1800s, mathematician Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) wrote an algorithm for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, an early computer, that calculated a sequence of Bernoulli numbers. Although there’s some debate – and it was never tested – this is widely recognized as the first-ever computer program.

Today isn’t her birthday or any significant day in her life, just a random holiday. And to go along with it, some random and interesting facts about Lovelace:

  • She was the only child of the poet Lord Byron.
  • She called her work “poetical science.”
  • There is a programming language named after her, Ada.
  • She wanted to fly and set about constructing wings and writing a book called Flyology.
  • She died from uterine cancer at age 36.
  • Babbage called her “Lady Fairy” and “The Enchantress of Numbers.”

Read the Wikipedia entry on Ada Lovelace

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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