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Programming

Happy Birthday To Ada Lovelace, the First Computer Programmer 60

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the before-her-time dept.
First time accepted submitter MrBeeudoublez writes "Honored by a Google Doodle, Ada Lovelace is the first computer programmer. From the article: 'Ada's life as a member of British society (first as the daughter of Lord Byron, and later as the wife of the Count of Lovelace), brought her into contact with Charles Babbage, whose concepts for mechanical calculating machines (early computers) she took a great interest in. Ultimately, her work on explaining Babbage's design for the Analytical Engine resulted in her being credited as the first true computer programmer in history, even if the computer she programmed for was not actually built until 2002.'"
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Happy Birthday To Ada Lovelace, the First Computer Programmer

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  • by ngibbins (88512) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @08:36AM (#42249520)
    Lovelace's contribution lay in her translation and annotation of Menabrea's description of the Analytical Engine, for which she wrote a short program. Like the Difference Engines, the Analytical Engine was not built during Babbage's (or Lovelace's) lifetime. Unlike the Difference Engine, the Analytical Engine has never been built; the "computer [...] not actually built until 2002" was the Difference Engine No.2, designed by Babbage in the late 1840s, which is a calculator and not a computer. The date of 2002 is also misleading, and refers to the completion of the printer for the DE No.2 (in 2000) that was built by Doron Swade's group at the Science Museum in London between 1989 and 1991. Furthermore, her husband was not the "Count of Lovelace", but rather the 1st Earl of Lovelace (formerly Lord King, Baron of Ockham, and then Viscount Ockham). 'Count' is not a British title of peerage; her title of countess was therefore the result of her marriage to an earl.
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @09:29AM (#42249810) Journal

    The depressing lack of female role models in CS is a real problem, but revisionist history is not a valid solution.

    Well, there's certainly a shortage, but I don't think anyone can deny Rear Admiral Grace Hopper's [wikipedia.org] contributions to software engineering. Her contributions had a direct influence on how programming languages evolved.

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