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ICT Pioneers #1 – Ada Lovelace

March 8, 2011

Ada Lovelace

Today I am launching a new series of blog posts about ICT pioneers and as it is International Women’s Day I am going to begin with the only woman to currently appear on the ICT suite’s Wall of Fame – Ada Lovelace.

Ada Lovelace was born in 1815 and was the daughter of the famous poet Byron. Ada never met her father and her mother insisted on educating Ada in science and maths. She became a very keen mathematician and became interested in the work of Charles Babbage who was trying to raise funds for his mechanical calculator, the Difference Engine. Babbage was so impressed with Ada’s mathematical knowledge that they began to work together on an even more ambitious project – the Analytical Engine. This was a steam powered calculator that could be programmed by using pieces of card with holes punched in them in different patterns.

Ada produced pages and pages of notes on how the Analytical Engine could be used and these notes contain what is considered to be the first ever computer programme. Ada’s notes were published and became an instant best-seller and contained get ideas on how such a computer could be used in the future to compose music, create artwork and be used in science and commerce. Ada’s role in the history of computing has been honoured by the United States Department of Defense who named a program ADA and by Microsoft who use a hologram of Ada on their official product stickers.

Sadly Ada died at the young age of 36 after suffering cancer but she still remains an important figure in the history of computing – a true ICT pioneer.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2012 4:28 pm

    To see some more famous women in ICT look at


  1. Famous women in ICT | @teachesict

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