The first computer programmer: Ada Lovelace

Fort Campbell, KY (March 12, 2021) – In the 1840s, Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (also known as Ada Lovelace) spent countless hours corresponding with a fellow mathematician regarding an invention of sorts she was attempting to bring to life. Despite being a woman, Lovelace was asked to contribute thoughts and suggestions on the project. In the 1840s, such a thing was rarely seen, as woman were not viewed as contributing members of the scientific society.

Lovelace not only reviewed the algorithms and workings of her male colleague, she submitted pages upon pages of additional actions to contribute to the project. Within these calculations is said to be the world’s first machine algorithm designed for a computing machine.  An algorithm Lovelace herself designed.

This has earned her the title of the world’s “first computer programmer,” though the globe did not see computing machines for nearly another hundred years. Lovelace was able to see the connection between numbers and actions, what would later become the form of coding communication, and predict how those numbers could produce manipulations of various machines if input correctly.

A visionary mathematician well before a time when women were traditionally accepted in the field, she suggested that one day machines would use the coding systems to change the face of science. As it turns out, she was not only correct in her assumptions, she herself was a figurehead in the movement towards such growth. A woman who stood for science, knowledge, and change in an era where such a voice was rarely acknowledged. We salute you, Ada Lovelace, for staying true to yourself and contributing to the success of women everywhere. 

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