Augusta Ada King, the Countess of Lovelace, is an iconic figure in our vision of computing’s past for her remarkable work with Charles Babbage and on the possibilities of computing machines. And yet her engagement with computing at a time before the roles and definitions of digital computing emerged has made the characterization of her life and contribution a matter of continued study. The new book, Ada Lovelace: The Making of a Computer Scientist, draws extensively on archival collections at Oxford’s famed Bodleian Library to put Ada Lovelace’s life-long pursuit of mathematics at its center.
Born into the heights of the British aristocracy, Ada’s passion for mathematics was encouraged by her mother, Lady Byron, who shared it. From private tutors, Ada’s mathematical education continued under one of the leading British mathematicians of her day, Augustus de Morgan. For a decade, starting at the age of eighteen, Ada collaborated with Charles Babbage on his revolutionary computing machinery, adding her own insights. For most of this collaboration, Babbage was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics and the University of Cambridge, the seat once held by Isaac Newton.
Join two of the co-authors of Ada Lovelace: The Making of a Computer Scientist, Ursula Martin and Adrian Rice for a discussion of Ada Lovelace’s life in mathematics and its meaning for us today.
We are pleased to have Books Inc. onsite selling copies of Ada Lovelace: The Making of a Computer Scientist before and after the program.
This event will be streamed live on our Facebook page.
On Exhibit: Thinking Big: Ada, Countess of Lovelace
Drawing on the Lovelace papers held at the University of Oxford's Bodleian Libraries, Thinking Big: Ada, Countess of Lovelace features reproductions from the Bodleian's exceptional collection that highlight Lovelace's mathematical prowess as well as her creativity and imagination. Discover rare historical documents from Lovelace's childhood and later correspondence to and from her distinguished tutors, including Augustus De Morgan, Charles Babbage, and other well-known Victorian thinkers.
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