Monday, August 31, 2015

First woman to write a computer program

Next year 2016 it will be 200th birthday of Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, born 1816. Ada Lovelace is said to be the first woman said to have written the first computer program in October 1843 translated from Menabrea’s paper "Notions sur la machine analytique de M. Charles Babbage" (1842).

Lovelace's diagram from Note G - photo courtesy of

Ada's work recorded in Sketch of the Analytical Engine invented by Charles Babbage -Translation originally published in 1843 in the Scientific Memoirs, 3, 666-73 and one folding chart. This work represented the first edition in English of the first published account of Babbage’s Analytical Engine, and, significantly, of its logical design (

Bromley, Allan G; referred toAda's translation as “the most important paper in the history of digital computing before modern times” - "The Evolution of Babbage's Calculating Engines, xv" Annals of the History of Computing, 9 (1987).

A more pragmatic explanation (The Cogwheel Brain at 165 by Swade, Doron David published in 2000) of Ada's work that when supplied with algorithms for the solution of various problems, Ada illustrated in her notes in the form of charts detailing step-wise sequence of events as the machine progressed through a string of instructions input from punched cards. It is Ada's finite work that many have referred as recognised in the 20th Century as the first published example of a [computer] "program".

Great woman, unique story and fascinating event in computing history and for the development of information systems.

The information in this discussion is condensed from numerous sources and searches.

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