Women's History Month: Featuring Ada Lovelace

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Ada Lovelace

Photo credit: Biography.com

Did you know March is Women’s History Month? In 1987, Congress declared the very first “Women’s History Month,” and ever since each President has issued an annual proclamation so designating each March in order to celebrate the vital role of women in American history. This March, the WIN Lab is highlighting on our blog some incredible historical women founders.

C++, SAS, HTML, Java, Python….Lovelace? Did you know that the world’s first computer programmer was a woman? Ada Lovelace was born in London in 1852 and was the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the famous English poet. 

Lovelace was a child prodigy and loved mathematics from the start. In fact, it was her mother who encouraged her to study logic and mathematics because she believed her daughter needed to balance out her father Lord Byron’s poetical tendencies. Ada was guided by a series of strong tutors as well as mentors such as her math professor at the University of London. In fact, one of her tutors introduced her to Charles Babbage who furthered her career and became her lifelong friend and nicknamed her an “enchantress of numbers.”

Lovelace is considered the founder of scientific computing. Her notes became the first computer program and also included the first algorithm developed for implementation on a computer. Can you imagine what she would have created had she been alive today?
 


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