Ada Lovelace

Monday 9 January, 2023

"Imagination is the discovering faculty, pre-eminently. It is that which penetrates into the unseen worlds around us, the worlds of Science."

This quote is by the first person to recognise the full potential of computers and who came to be known as the first computer programmer- Ada Lovelace

Who Was Ada Lovelace? 

Ada Lovelace graphic depiction sitting at her computer programmer the Analytical engine.Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, also known as Ada Lovelace was an English mathematician and writer who lived in the 1800's.

She is commonly known as the world's first computer programmer for her collaboration with Charles Babbage on the usage of the first computer the Charle' Babbage's Analytical Engine. Ada was the first person to fully recognise that the machine had applications beyond pure calculation and to publish the first algorithm intended to be carried out by such machines. This was to calculate the Bernoulli number sequience.

In the times when women weren't even allowed to study. Ada not only studied, but achieved so much. Ada was also a strong advocate for the education and advancement of women in science and technology, and she is remembered as an important role model for women in these fields.

 If Ada were alive today...

 It is difficult to know exactly what Ada Lovelace would think about the world if she was alive today. Living in the 1800s she did not have the benefit of modern technologies and perspectives. However, given her pioneering work in the field of computer science and her interest in the potential uses of technology, it is likely that Ada would be fascinated by the many ways in which computers and technology have transformed our world.

Ada was a forward-thinking individual who was interested in the potential of technology to solve problems and improve people's lives. She might be amazed by the many ways in which computers and software are used today, including in areas such as healthcare, education, transportation, and communication. 


Technology Quote


 Graphic depicting Ada Lovelace and her quote - "Imagination is the discovering faculty, pre-eminently. It is that which penetrates into the unseen worlds around us, the worlds of Science."

The extended quote is - "Imagination is the discovering faculty, pre-eminently. It is that which penetrates into the unseen worlds around us, the worlds of Science. It is that which feels & discovers what is, the  real which we see not, which  exists not for our  senses. Those who have learned to walk on the threshold of the unknown worlds, by means of what are commonly termed par excellence  the exact sciences, may then with the fair white wings of Imagination hope to soar further into the unexplored amidst which we live." Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) was a pioneering mathematician and computer scientist who is widely considered to be the first computer programmer. She was born in London, England, the daughter of the poet Lord Byron and Anne Isabella Byron.

Ada was very imaginative and curious as a little girl. When she was twelve years old, she wanted to fly. She approached that problem very methodically. She started by observing birds, how they fly and investigating various materials that could be used as wings - feathers, paper, silk. During her research, Ada wrote and illustrated a guide called "Flyology" to record the findings of her investigations. She kept going on with that project until her mother scolded her for neglecting her studies. 

Ada began studying mathematics at a young age, and quickly developed a passion for the subject. She was tutored by some of the leading mathematicians of the day, including Augustus De Morgan and Mary Somerville.

In 1883, Ada met Charles Babbage (who is known as the father of computers), and had designed a calculating machine called the Difference Engine. Ada, was inspired by that prototype and became Charles' lifelong friend. Charles had a much more advanced project in mind after the Difference Engine, which was the Analytical Engine. In 1843, Ada came across a French paper by Luigi Menabrea about the Analytical Engine and she translated it and added her own notes to it. She realised that the Analytical Engine has much more potential and it could carry out a series of complex mathematical operations. One of the sequences that Ada wrote was how to calculate the Bernoulli numbers. That series is regarded by the computer historians as the first computer program ever.

Despite her groundbreaking work, Ada received little recognition during her lifetime and died at the young age of 36. It wasn't until many years after her death that her contributions to computer science were fully recognized and appreciated. Even though Ada died in 1852, her legacy lives on. Every year on the second Tuesday in October, the contributions of women to STEM are celebrated on Ada Lovelace Day.




At DDSN, we use our imagination exploring and pushing the limits of digital technology everyday.

Just like Ada,  at DDSN we also believe that imagination is what leads us to enter the unknown world and create excellent products.