Ada Lovelace: Accomplishments & Invention

Instructor: Meredith Fontana
In this lesson you will learn about the life and accomplishments of Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer. Her story is one that is full of purpose and forward-thinking despite her life being tragically cut short.

Ada Lovelace
Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace

Augusta Ada Lovelace was a well educated, disciplined woman who focused on what was important to her in life. Her pursuit of academic study, application of mathematics, and her family were what she valued most. Her upbringing, along with her relationships with those who were close to her, paint us a picture of a woman who lived a full and meaningful life.

Ada's Unconventional Beginnings

Ada Byron
Ada Byron

Born December 10, 1815 in London, England to Lord George Byron, the well known poet, and his wife Lady Anne Isabella Byron, Augusta Ada Byron came into the world. Ada's mother raised her daughter on her own after she and Lord Byron separated; Ada never saw her father again as he left when she was an infant. Unlike most girls her age, Ada's studies focused on music, math, and science. Ada's mother wanted her daughter to be more like her (trained in mathematics) and less like her father, whose strengths relied on emotional tendencies. Anne Byron wanted her daughter to be a logical thinker, so Ada was tutored by the first woman admitted in the Royal Astronomical Society, Mary Somerville, and also by the family doctor, William King.

The Start of Something Special

At age seventeen Ada met Mr. Charles Babbage, the inventor of what some consider the ancestors to the modern day computer, the Difference Engine and the Analytical Engine. Mr. Babbage worked with Ada on her mathematics and the two of them developed a bond that lasted for several years. While in the midst of her studies, she married William King and had a family of three children with him. Her title became Countess of Lovelace in 1838 when William inherited the title of Earl Lovelace.

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