Today’s Google Doodle highlights the amazing accomplishments of Augusta Ada King, the Countess of Lovelace, also known as “Ada Lovelace.” She was the daughter of the poet Lord Byron, though he had little influence on her life after divorcing her mother. Ada’s youth is almost a textbook example of growing up as a nerd. She suffered numerous illnesses, including terrible headaches, and a paralyzing bout with measles, all of which led her to a pursue a deep interest in education, particularly mathematics, where she excelled.
Ada’s life as a member of British society (first as the daughter of Lord Byron, and later as the wife of the Count of Lovelace), brought her into contact with Charles Babbage, whose concepts for mechanical calculating machines (early computers) she took a great interest in. Ultimately, her work on explaining Babbage’s design for the Analytical Engine resulted in her being credited as the first true computer programmer in history, even if the computer she programmed for was not actually built until 2002.
Ada died in 1852 at the age of 36, leaving us to wonder what such a mind could have accomplished with a full span of years. However, she remains a remarkable figure for all to admire, though in many ways, she could be considered the patron saint of women makers.