Ada’s Algorithm

Title: Ada’s Algorithm: How Lord Byron’s Daughter Ada Lovelace Launched the Digital Age
Author: James Essinger
ISBN: 97884-90651384
Review: 150 years after Ada’s Lovelace death, a well-known computer program was named Ada, after the one and only legitimate daughter of Lord Byron. Her crucial, but often forgotten, contribution was acknowledge in first place by mathematicians such as Alan Turing. Nowadays her work is considered groundbreaking in the digital age. Her mother, Annabella Milbanke, abandoned her husband in 1816. In her determination of moving her daughter away from ‘Byron craziness’, Ada received a really strict education focused on Mathematics in order to avoid giving free rein to his imagination. However, the young girl was already thinking about the flying machine at thirteen. At nineteen Ada knew Charles Babbage, designer of The Analytical Engine (a really sophisticate calculator), and she saw the endless possibilities of this new discovery. Her contribution was vital, in fact, as long as she was the one who distinguished between data and processing, an essential knowledge in computer science. James Essinger narrates in a detailed and entertaining manner the circumstances and development of this unusual talent flourishing in the middle of the parental fears of her stubborn mother and the legacy of her fiery father. An intimate portrait of the short but remarkable life of Ada Lovelace framed in the context of London high-class society in the nineteenth century.

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