Tuesday 9 October 2018 is Ada Lovelace Day, an international day celebrating the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths, which was founded in 2009 by technologist Suw Charman-Anderson and created in memory of Ada Lovelace.
Ada Lovelace was born in 1815 to poet George Gordon (Lord Byron) and Annabella Milbanke. She was raised solely by her mother who enforced science, logic and mathematics upon her. However she developed a real fascination with machines and new inventions.
She was married at 19 to William King who was made Earl of Lovelace in 1838 and they had three children.
In 1833, Ada was introduced to Charles Babbage, who was credited with inventing the first mechanical computer. His plans for the Analytical Engine were never made into reality, but his designs had all the elements of a modern computer.
In 1842 Ada translated into English, a short article describing the Analytical Engine by the Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea. She was tasked with expanding the article by Babbage which then made the final article three times the length of the original.
The Analytical Engine remained a vision, until Lovelace’s notes became one of the critical documents to inspire Alan Turing’s work on the first modern computers in the 1940s.