I believe anyone who went to the same class as me in the university has heard about Ada, a computer programming language. I was reading a short version of her biography today. It was an interesting story.
Ada Augusta Byron was the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, a Romantic poet. Her mother was afraid that Ada would be spared her father’s eccentricities. So, she took Ada with her and decided that Ada has to study more logical subjects like maths and science.
Until one day, Ada met Charles Babbage who at that time was working on machanical calculating device. He became Ada’s mentor and helped her to start mathematical studies at the University of London. Ada studied Babbage’s ideas on the Difference Engine and the Analytical Engine. The latter engine worked by reading instructions and data from punch cards.
However, Babbage never wrote about his own inventions. But his Analytical Engine was once described in an article published in French by an Italian engineer. Ada was asked to translate the article to English. She also added many notes of her own which showed how the Engine would work with a given set of instructions. Today the engine was recognized as a model for a computer and Ada’s notes as a description of a computer and software.
Later, Ada got married, became countess of Lovelace, and had three children. Unknowingly, she developed an addiction to prescribed drugs including laudanum, opium, and morphine, and displayed classic mood swings and withdrawal symptoms. She took up gambling and lost most of her fortune.
Ada died of uterine cancer at the age of 36 and was buried next to her famous father.
In 1980, the U.S. Department of Defense settled on the name "Ada" for a new standardized computer language, named in honor of Ada Lovelace.