It's Ada Lovelace Day | From Her: The World's First Computer Program


Ada Lovelace Day

From Her: The World’s First Computer Program

Ada Lovelace Day was created in 2009 by Suw Charman-Anderson with the goal of inspiring more women to work in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering, and math, by celebrating women who currently work in these fields.

Read some of her quotes below and then a little back story of how she brought art, science and calculations together to form the worlds first computer program.

Her writings on artificial intelligence and Alan Turing’s rebuttal specifically to her in "Computing Machinery and Intelligence – Lady Lovelace's Objection" show how so far ahead of her time she was.

Understand well as I may, my comprehension can only be an infinitesimal fraction of all I want to understand.
— Ada Lovelace
The Analytical Engine has no pretensions whatever to originate anything. It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform.
The Analytical Engine might act upon other things besides number, were objects found whose mutual fundamental relations could be expressed by those of the abstract science of operations, and which should be also susceptible of adaptations to the action of the operating notation and mechanism of the engine…

Supposing, for instance, that the fundamental relations of pitched sounds in the science of harmony and of musical composition were susceptible of such expression and adaptations, the engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent.
Forget this world and all its troubles and if possible
its multitudinous Charlatans— everything in short but
the Enchantress of Numbers.
A new, a vast, and a powerful language is developed for the future use of analysis, in which to wield its truths so that these may become of more speedy and accurate practical application for the purposes of mankind than the means hitherto in our possession have rendered possible.
Mathematical science shows what is. It is the language of unseen relations between things... Imagination too shows what is ... Hence she is or should be especially cultivated by the truly Scientific, those who wish to enter into the worlds around us!
Thus not only the mental and the material, but the theoretical and the practical in the mathematical world, are brought into more intimate and effective connection with each other.

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (1815 – 1852) was an English mathematician and writer, known for her work on Charles Babbage's proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine.

She was the first to recognize the engine could do more than pure calculation, and published the first algorithm intended to be carried out by Babbage’s Analytical Engine.

Ada’s father was a poet and left England forever, leaving her and her mother four moths after her birth.

Ada’s mother, in an attempt to push her daughter away from her father’s perceived insanity, promoted Ada's interest in mathematics and logic.

In 1843, Ada published a paper on a seminar Babbage gave which included her own notes labeled A to G. In note G she describes an algorithm for the Analytical Engine to compute Bernoulli numbers and is considered the first published algorithm ever specifically designed for a computer.


"When she saw some mechanical looms that used punchcards to direct the weaving of beautiful patterns, it reminded her of how Babbage's engine used punched cards to make calculations."

– Walter Isaacson “On the Women of ENIAC”

“Ada saw something that Babbage in some sense failed to see. In Babbage's world his engines were bound by number...What Lovelace saw—what Ada Byron saw—was that number could represent entities other than quantity. So once you had a machine for manipulating numbers, if those numbers represented other things, letters, musical notes, then the machine could manipulate symbols of which number was one instance, according to rules. It is this fundamental transition from a machine which is a number cruncher to a machine for manipulating symbols according to rules that is the fundamental transition from calculation to computation—to general-purpose computation—and looking back from the present high ground of modern computing, if we are looking and sifting history for that transition, then that transition was made explicitly by Ada in that 1843 paper.

– Doron Swade

Ada’s Impact on Digital Marketing

Javascript is one of the most popular languages in the world and it shares a lot with what Ada ascribed to. It’s possibly the most accessible coding languages there is, running on every browser in the world and requiring no server to create code and logic.

Beyond videos, pictures, animations and fancy design, Javascript can perform logic. We can create individual reactions between our offerings and the visitors experiencing our digital presence.

Call them calculators, configurators or filters, coding and logic is a powerful fulcrum in relationship and audience building and we have Ada to thank for that.


Build Your Own Analytical Engine

It’s more accessible than ever to create little logic engines specifically tailored to who you are and the audience you’re working to connect with.

We’d love to help you with that.


Calculators and filters we’ve created for clients that invite visitors to explore and play with information to learn more about an organization with less clicking and scrolling.



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