Ada Lovelace was the daughter of notorious Romantic poet Lord Byron and Lady Wentworth, a noblewoman known for her own mathematical prowess. But as the first-ever computer programmer, Ada may have influenced the modern world more than either of her parents. The thing is, her programs were written for a purely theoretical "analytical engine" designed by mathematician Charles Babbage—it would be another 100 years before anyone would actually construct such a device. But when they did, Ada Lovelace's original work turned out to run perfectly. In fact, she may have been prescient on that front as well. After all, she once remarked "The brain of mine is something more than merely mortal; as time will show."
Ada Lovelace: Great Minds
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Key Facts In This Video
Lovelace was trying to create a machine that could "manipulate symbols" as well as numbers. 00:26
Lovelace's mentor asked her to transcribe his notes, during which she found many errors and added her own opinions. 01:39
At the age of 36, she died of cancer. 02:44