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Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace was a mathematician in 19th century England and daughter of Lord Byron. From a very young age, she had a keen interest in mathematics which led her to work with Charles Babbage, the inventor of the Analytical Engine - the ancestor of the computer. At the age of 27, whilst translating an article on this machine, she couldn’t help but add comments on her own. These led her to introduce a number of concepts and write the first programme for the Analytical Engine, making her the first computer programmer… in 1843.

I am particularly impressed by how Ada pioneered Computer Science and saw the potential of computers beyond pure calculation machines. Ada realised how numbers could represent more than just quantities:

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