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Countess Ada Lovelace, computer pioneer

Countess Ada Lovelace, computer pioneer

H412/0255

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Ada Lovelace. Portrait of Ada Augusta King, Countess of Lovelace (1815-52), supporter and friend of Charles Babbage (1792-1871) who designed the first computer. The daughter of the poet Lord Byron, Lovelace taught herself geometry and was trained in astronomy and mathematics. She produced the clearest description, including many of her own notes, of Babbages "analytical engine". It was made of cogs and levers but was never constructed. Babbage and Lovelace also tried to devise a mathematical system for predicting the winners of horse racing. Lovelace lost heavily when using this system and virtually bankrupted herself. She became an opium addict.

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