Ada Lovelace: First Computer Programmer


Joined May 2015

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In 1843, Ada Lovelace published the first complete computer program, a set of algorithms translated into punched cards which were to be run on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine and which would calculate Bernoulli Numbers. Baggage’s general purpose computing machine was never built, so Lovelace’s program never ran.

Despite the fact that she was working theoretically, and to a design that Babbage kept changing (and, indeed, never finalised), Lovelace understood the importance of a general purpose computer more clearly than any of her contemporaries. She realised that it could do very human things, given the right programming and the right data. It could, she said, weave “algebraic patterns just as the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves.” But more than that, it might one day even create graphics and music.

Ada Lovelace was born on 10 December 1815, and died tragically young at the age of 36 in 27 November 1852.

About Ada Lovelace Day

Ada Lovelace Day is a global celebration of the achievements of women in STEM. Held every year on the second Tuesday in October, it features a flagship ‘science cabaret’ event in London, and dozens of independently organised events around the world, as well as hundreds of blog posts about women whose work is worthy of admiration. Our aim is to raise the profile of women in STEM and create new role models for girls and women alike.

You can find out more about Ada Lovelace Day and our work at our website and can get involved in our forum.

All proceeds from our RedBubble sales go towards supporting Ada Lovelace Day.

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