October 14, 2014
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.”
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