Ada Lovelace and her Legacy – CSF1

Jordan Miranda, Mitchell High School Student

When you think of computers you probably think of people like Bill Gates the problem with that is, people like him wouldn’t be known for computers without someone like Ada Lovelace. Ada Lovelace was a woman who was the main reason Charles Babbage was able to develop the world’s first computer. At the time, she was an English mathematician and writer; Charles Babbage then asked to work with her on inventing the world’s first computer. She was ahead of her time which was 1815 – 1852, but nowadays, she’d be considered the author of the first computer program. Although, Charles Babbage was the inventor of the computers Ada Lovelace helped much more than she was probably credited for. Babbage asked Lovelace to translate a description of the engine he made that was written by an Italian mathematician. While she was translating the description though she found errors within Babbage’s calculations in which she went in and corrected them. She had a theory about computers being able to calculate with applications and having a sequence of figures known as “Bernoulli numbers”. She was even able to prove it by diagramming the computations that the “Analytic Engine” would make, which was successful. She wrote the computer algorithm and she thought that the computer would be able to manipulate anything with just a fixed set of rules. She argues that the computer could be used for both practical purposes and scientific ones; she then continued about how things like music could work on the computer. Her work was published and she was receiving fans within the scientific community; then 101 years later her work got republished when everyone was starting to make computers how she envisioned them.

How would a woman in 1815 – 1852 have any effect on my personal life? Well, her being the world’s first author for computer programming, correcting Babbage calculations, and being able to envision a future for computers show how much we evolved. Our computers now are able to do everything she envisioned like holding music. Our newer inventors for the computers had her calculations to build off, and nowadays we have more technology so it’s not all coming from our heads. We use technology to do basically everything, I’m using it now to write and listen to music, that shows how much we use it. We have the technology for ordering food, reading an article, listening to music, doing work, our entertainment, etc. So, what if Ada Lovelace didn’t fix those calculations in Babbagas’s work or translate/write the computer program? Would we be where we are today? We as people evolve from everything that we have once done to try and get better, so clearly we as people would be where we were in 1833 – 1852, or we’d still have those big cube computers from the 1900s. Ada Lovelace has had an effect on all things technology based on simple calculations and envisions for the future of computers.


School District 11 is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in relation to disability, need for special education services (whether actual or perceived), race, creed, color, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, religion, ancestry, age, genetic information, or protected activity. Any harassment/discrimination of students and/or staff, based on the protected areas, will not be tolerated and must be brought to the immediate attention of the D11 nondiscrimination compliance/grievance coordinator.

NONDISCRIMINATION COMPLIANCE COORDINATOR Katherine Ritchie Rapp, Equal Opportunity Programs and Ombudservices 711 East San Rafael Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903-2599
E-MAIL: [email protected] Phone: 520-2271, FAX: 520-2442