The history of Ada Lovelace that you may not know?


17 November 2020                

Read time: 5 minutes


Augusta Ada king, Countess of Lovelace was a famous English mathematician and considered to be the first woman to write the world's first algorithm (computer program ) for Charles Babbage (father of the computer ) "Analytical Engine" to calculate "Bernoulli's number". She is Known as "Enchantress of Number " and "Lady fairy ".

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The history of Ada Lovelace that you may not know?




  • She was born to English poet Lord Byron and Baroness Anna Isabella Milbanke in London on 10 December 1815.

  • Lord Byron wanted a boy child, upset with a female baby, he left Lady Bryon when his daughter was 5 weeks old.

  • Ada Lovelace never saw her father until her 20th birthday when she saw her father's portrait. Lord Byron died when Ada was eight years old.

  • She had a rigorous and religious upbringing by her grandmother. Ada never received her mother's love.

  • As a child, she suffered from measles for two years, but her interest in mathematics and science grew with age.

  • She called herself an "Analyst" working on "poetical science". She was interested in poetry and used it in solving mathematical problems.

  • At the age of twelve she decided she wanted to fly and studied bird anatomy to know the proportion of wings and body. She decided to write a book " Flyology" which illustrated some of her findings.

    Flyology" which illustrated Ada Lovelace

  • She was taught by many mathematicians like Mary Somerville, Augusta de Morgan, William King, and William Frend.

  • She married William King Noel, first Earl of Lovelace, on July 8th, 1835, and had two sons, Byron and Ralph Gordon along with a daughter Anne Isabella.

Watch the video below for more information on Ada Lovelace Biography:

Work :

      β˜… Ada Lovelace's teacher introduced her to Charles Babbage(father of the computer) in 1833, their friendship grew strong with time. Later she became interested in his work " Difference Engine".

Ada Lovelace's and Charles Babbage

      β˜… Charles Babbage delivered a lecture on his invention "Analytical Engine" at 'University of Turin' in the year 1840. A Luigi Menabrea, an Italian writer, wrote his above lecture in French, which was printed two years later in 'Bibliotheque universelle de Genève'

      β˜… Ada Lovelace translated his lecture to English as requested by Charles Whetstone. In the year 1842-43, Lovelace added points of her own analysis to the above-transcribed paper. The points she added are as follow:

             a)  She claimed Babbage's " Analytical Engine" is more advanced than other calculating machines, and it can perform a plethora of operations other than numerical calculations.

             b)  She wrote an algorithm to calculate Bernoulli's number for Babbage's "Analytical Engine ". It is Known to be the world's first ever algorithm in computer programming.

world's first ever algorithm in computer programming.

            c) She also wrote about the drawbacks of "Analytical Engine", now considered the predecessor of debugging.

      β˜… Apart from being a mathematician, she was also interested in Phrenology (study of measurement of bumps on the human skull) and animal magnetism.

      β˜… She reviewed a research paper written by Baron Karl Von Reichenbach on "Animal Magnetism " in 1844, but it never got published.

      β˜… She designed a model that could decode the neurological process involved in evolution of feelings using mathematics. She called it "Calculus of the nervous system " but unfortunately, it was not successful.


She is the first person to write the first algorithm program for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine to calculate Bernoulli's number. Every year, the second Tuesday of October, is celebrated as Ada lovelace day in her honor. It is an international celebration of women’s achievements in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and math(STEM) field.

Ada Lovelace women in tech

Popular Culture:

Popular Culture:

Year Popular Culture
1816 Lord Byron wrote a poem to his wife Lady Byron which showed his love towards his daughter Ada Lovelace.
1977 Romulus Linney portrayed Lovelace in his play Childe Byron
1990 Ada Lovelace lecture on punched cards program was written by William Gibson and Bruce sterling in their novel steampunk and The   difference Engine.
1997 Conceiving Ada a film showed how a young computer scientist obsessed with lovelace finds "undying communication waves" to communicate with her.
2005 John Crowley's novel lord Byron's : the evening land, depicted Lovelace as anti-heroic to achieve her father loss
2015 Lauren Gunderson plays Ada and the memory engine portrays Charles Babbage and Ada lovelace unrequited love.
2020  Spyfall, part 2, second episode showed Lovelace before her marriage.

Death of Ada Lovelace :

Ada Lovelace died at a very young age of 37 on November 27, 1852, due to uterine cancer. As per her request she was laid to rest next to her father's grave in Nottingham's 'Church of St Mary Magdalene '.

Ada Lovelace Quotes :

Here are some of Ada Lovelace’s quotes:

  • The more I study, the more insatiable do I feel my genius for it to be.
  • I never am really satisfied that I understand anything; because, understand it well as I may, my comprehension can only be an infinitesimal fraction of all I want to understand about the many connections and relations which occur to me, how the matter in question was first thought of or arrived at.
  • Forget this world and all its troubles and if possible its multitudinous Charlatans-- everything in short but the Enchantress of Numbers.
  • Thus not only the mental and the material, but the theoretical and the practical in the mathematical world, are brought into more intimate and effective connection with each other.

Adalovelace Quotes

Ada Lovelace Quotes


Ada Lovelace being brought up in a very strict and religious environment never let her dreams to fade. She wrote the world's first algorithm to calculate "Bernoulli's number" and had a very good work relationship with many famous scientists and mathematicians. Ada also reviewed many of their journal papers and works. She is an inspiration for women in STEM. Ada lovelace day is celebrated as a recognition of her achievements.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Ada Lovelace famous for?

Being an exceptional mathematician, Ada Lovelace was the first woman programmer to write the world's first algorithm to Charles Babbage Analytical Engine. Charles Babbage called her as "The Enchantress of Numbers '' and "Lady fairy". Ada Programming Language is also named after her.

Is Ada faster than C ?

Ada programming language gives semantics that the compiler can easily optimize, so it is faster than C and C++ programs, which are manually written.

What did Ada Lovelace say to her husband on her deathbed?

Ada Lovelace confessed being disloyal to her husband at the time of her death.

Is Ada Lovelace still alive?

She died at a very young age of 37 due to Uterine cancer. But her contribution to technology and mathematics is always alive.

What is Ada Lovelace Day?

To celebrate the achievements of women in the stream of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM ), every year, the second Tuesday of October is celebrated as Ada Lovelace Day.

External references

To learn more about Ada lovelace, visit these blogs:

Written by Nethravathi C, Cuemath Teacher

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