Ada Lovelace

Augusta Ada King-Noel, Countess of Lovelace (née Byron; 10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852) was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine. As a result, she is often regarded as the first computer programmer. 


 Watercolor portrait of Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (Ada Lovelace) Alfred Edward Chalon - Science & Society Picture Library. 1840

Her work

Lovelace was strongly interested in scientific developments and fads of the day, including phrenology and mesmerism. After her work with Babbage, Lovelace continued to work on other projects. 

In 1844 she commented to a friend Woronzow Greig about her desire to create a mathematical model for how the brain gives rise to thoughts and nerves to feelings ("a calculus of the nervous system").She never achieved this, however.

In part, her interest in the brain came from a long-running pre-occupation, inherited from her mother, about her 'potential' madness. As part of her research into this project, she visited the electrical engineer Andrew Crosse in 1844 to learn how to carry out electrical experiments.

Her involvment in the first computer program

Ada Lovelace's developed notes ( from a conference that was attended by Charles Babbage and a young Italian Engineer Luigi Menabrea ) that were labelled alphabetically from A to G. In note G, she describes an algorithm for the Analytical Engine to compute Bernoulli numbers. It is considered the first published algorithm ever specifically tailored for implementation on a computer, and Ada Lovelace has often been cited as the first computer programmer for this reason. The engine was never completed so her program was never tested.

Source adapted from 

Ada Lovelace. (2016, October 6). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:13, October 6, 2016, from


Ada Lovelace Day #AdaLovelaceDay #WomenInSTEM founded in 2009 by Suw Charman-Anderson, it is now held every year on the second Tuesday of October.