Ada Lovelace Day is an international event that celebrates the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Named after the first computer programmer, the day is celebrated on the second Tuesday in October.  

Ada Lovelace was important in early STEM | Source: AS

Ada King, countess of Lovelace, is an English mathematician. She was the daughter of Lord Byron and Annabella Milbanke Byron, who separated two months after her birth. She never knew her father. She was privately educated by tutors in her childhood and then continued studying by herself. One of her tutors was the first professor of mathematics at the University of London, Augustus De Morgan.  

Portrait of Ada Lovelace as a child | Source: Wikipedia

She started working with Charles Babbage in 1832. Babbage was developing the Difference Engine, an early version of the calculator. In 1835, Ada married William King. Three years later, they became the Earl and Countess of Lovelace. Though it was common for women to only do housework at the time, Lovelace continued to work with Babbage.  

Charles Babbage (1792-1871) | Source: Wikipedia

In 1843, Babbage developed the Analytical Engine, a more complicated version of the Difference Engine. Lovelace translated the text from his engineer from French to English. Lovelace imagined that the engine could follow patterns—codes—to not only calculate numbers but also form letters. Though she was writing about the programming of the Analytical Engine, Lovelace had inadvertently come up with the idea for computer language and programming.  

Charles Babbage’s (1791-1871) Analytical Engine | Source: Wikipedia

Lovelace’s notes were lost and forgotten. However, in 1953, her notes were found and published in a book about digital computing. Lovelace died on November 10, 1852, a hundred years before her notes were as a basis for computer coding. The early programming language, Ada, was named after her.  

UK 2 Pounds | 2023 | Ada Lovelace | Source: Royal Mint

The Royal Mint issued a series of coins that honor Ada Lovelace in 2023. These coins are commemorative 2-pound coins made of different metals. The coins feature King Charles III and a depiction of computer punch cards accompanied by inscriptions.

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