10 Things You May Not Know About Ada Lovelace - HISTORY
When the first two editions of his epic poem, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, sold out, Lady Melbourne, Byron made and Annabella accepted a promise of marriage. . In Mary introduced Ada to another mathematician, Charles Babbage. Read the longer biography of Ada Lovelace by Suw Charman-Anderson, taken and tempestuous marriage of the erratic poet George Gordon, Lord Byron, and his Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace both had somewhat unconventional. Ada Lovelace, Letter to Charles Babbage, 5 July , Ada, The that Ada's imagination was “chiefly exercised in connection with her mechanical ingenu- ity, ”.
He called her "The Enchantress of Number". Forget this world and all its troubles and if possible its multitudinous Charlatans—every thing in short but the Enchantress of Number. With the article, she appended a set of notes.
She wrote that "The Analytical Engine has no pretensions whatever to originate anything. It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform. It can follow analysis; but it has no power of anticipating any analytical relations or truths. When Taylor 's Scientific Memoirs ruled that the statement should be signed, Babbage wrote to Lovelace asking her to withdraw the paper.
This was the first that she knew he was leaving it unsigned, and she wrote back refusing to withdraw the paper. The historian Benjamin Woolley theorised that: Part of the terrace at Worthy Manor was known as Philosopher's Walk, as it was there that Lovelace and Babbage were reputed to have walked while discussing mathematical principles. She then augmented the paper with notes, which were added to the translation. Ada Lovelace spent the better part of a year doing this, assisted with input from Babbage.
These notes, which are more extensive than Menabrea's paper, were then published in the September edition of Taylor's Scientific Memoirs under the initialism AAL. In note G, she describes an algorithm for the Analytical Engine to compute Bernoulli numbers. It is considered to be the first published algorithm ever specifically tailored for implementation on a computer, and Ada Lovelace has often been cited as the first computer programmer for this reason.
Bowden 's Faster than Thought: A Symposium on Digital Computing Machines. In her notes, she wrote: 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.
Walter Isaacson ascribes Lovelace's insight regarding the application of computing to any process based on logical symbols to an observation about textiles: Ada saw something that Babbage in some sense failed to see.
In Babbage's world his engines were bound by number What Lovelace saw—what Ada Byron saw—was that number could represent entities other than quantity. So once you had a machine for manipulating numbers, if those numbers represented other things, letters, musical notes, then the machine could manipulate symbols of which number was one instance, according to rules. It is this fundamental transition from a machine which is a number cruncher to a machine for manipulating symbols according to rules that is the fundamental transition from calculation to computation—to general-purpose computation—and looking back from the present high ground of modern computing, if we are looking and sifting history for that transition, then that transition was made explicitly by Ada in that paper.
Bromleyin the article Difference and Analytical Engines: All but one of the programs cited in her notes had been prepared by Babbage from three to seven years earlier.
The exception was prepared by Babbage for her, although she did detect a 'bug' in it. Not only is there no evidence that Ada ever prepared a program for the Analytical Engine, but her correspondence with Babbage shows that she did not have the knowledge to do so.
Stein regards Lovelace's notes as "more a reflection of the mathematical uncertainty of the author, the political purposes of the inventor, and, above all, of the social and cultural context in which it was written, than a blueprint for a scientific development". While acknowledging that Babbage wrote several unpublished algorithms for the Analytical Engine prior to Lovelace's notes, Wolfram argues that "there's nothing as sophisticated—or as clean—as Ada's computation of the Bernoulli numbers.
Babbage certainly helped and commented on Ada's work, but she was definitely the driver of it. She was a mathematical genius She made an influential contribution to the analytical engine She was the first computer programmer She was a prophet of the computer age According to him, only the fourth claim had "any substance at all".
He explained that Ada was only a "promising beginner" instead of genius in mathematics, that she began studying basic concepts of mathematics five years after Babbage conceived the analytical engine so she could not have made important contributions to it, and that she only published the first computer program instead of actually writing it.
There followed a slanging match in the press, with each newspaper choosing a side in the great separation debate. One side accused Byron of abusing an innocent and virtuous young woman, the other accused Annabella of conducting a covert campaign to ruin a great man's reputation.
And the story kept on running, for months, years, even decades. It was still going strong inwhen an article by Harriet Beecher Stowe, the American author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, revealed the incestuous relationship between Byron and his half-sister Augusta Leigh.
The story still had legs nearly a century later, when family papers privately circulated by Ada's son, Ralph Lovelace, were procured by journalists "at extortionate prices, and, one is told, by subterranean methods".
The reason a marital dispute could have such an effect is partly because Byron was so famous. Elizabeth, Duchess of Devonshire, noted that not even the Napoleonic wars then raging across the Channel could rival him for attention: This was rich coming from Lady Caroline Lamb, who coined the phrase: She threatened to take her life if he didn't pay her attention, and to take his.
But everyone wanted to know him nonetheless. His books sold in quantities that would rival any published today. His poem The Corsair sold 10, copies on the day of publication - a rate of sale that, without allowing for a population one-fifth of its current size, puts it on a par with Diana: However, celebrity alone does not explain the impact of the separation. There was more to it. Like every great story, it dramatised in the most personal terms much larger but less clearly-defined public anxieties.
It marked a turning point in the industrial revolution, which is why one commentator, writing in the influential journal Blackwoods half a century later, felt moved to argue that "had [Byron's] marriage been a happy one, the course of events of the present century might have been materially changed".
Ada Lovelace: Mathematics not Poetry. | West Cumbria SitP
No wonder, then, that from infancy, Ada drew crowds. Just months after her birth her mother reported that during a trip to Ely she and Ada were mobbed by a multitude of curious locals, craning to catch a first glimpse of the infant Byron.
Everyone wanted to know: What sort of creature would emerge from the union of poetry and geometry, liberty and licence, imagination and calculation? Her status as a living symbol of the separation wasn't helped by her father's use of her in his poetry.
In the opening stanza of the third canto of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, one of his most successful and popular poems, he wrote: That line would dog her to her death, and beyond, when it was used to introduce her obituaries.
And there were other lines. These were thy elements". He accused her mother of trying to "drain my blood from out thy being", an attainment that would be "in vain: Still thou wouldst love me, still that more than life retain". Byron was right about the blood. Annabella employed a team of fearsome spinsters to administer a dreadful leeching the "Furies", as Ada privately dubbed them. Every aspect of her life was to be lived under their watchful eye.
Any breach of the rules was seen as incipient Byronism, to be stamped out immediately. Inevitably, Ada's reaction was to rebel. She became argumentative, turning each trifling disagreement into a "French Revolution", as her mother put it. In her mid-teens, she suffered from what the Furies evidently regarded as a form of hysterical paralysis in her legs, resulting in her being forced to undertake lessons lying on a wooden board.
As soon as she recovered her powers of movement, she used them to flee the house, eloping with a tutor. She was quickly caught and dragged back home. She now became scared that she was losing control, and agreed to submit herself to a programme of reform. It was devised by Dr William King, one of Annabella's many Methodist friends, a champion of the Co-operative movement who would later run a lunatic asylum.
There is only one thing that will quell the passions of a young girl like Ada, Dr King pronounced: Byron had hated mathematics; he used it as a term of abuse. Being told that two and two made four merely provoked him to argue that they made five, he claimed. Annabella had more sympathy for the subject which for Byron's supporters explained why she could be so calculating.
The desire to command nature or spirits I would like to thank Ian Duncan for this observation. Oxford University Press,I. Her approach to the powers of the Analytical Engine is rooted in modes of thinking which we more often associate with poetry, and her capacity to conceptualize the machine in this way, irrespective of disciplinary boundaries, means that she can perceive within it a solution to some of the poetic longings for power and incarnation voiced by Byron, Coleridge, and Shelley, which cannot be fully answered by words alone.
Melville House,— Lovelace points out that the Jacquard loom was capable of weaving highly complex designs, including a portrait of Jacquard himself, produced by means of twenty-four thousand punched cards, so detailed it was often mistaken for an en- graving. The two questions have, in some cases, been collapsed into one. Not until a machine can write a sonnet or compose a concerto because of thoughts and emotions felt, and not by the chance fall of symbols, could we agree that machine equals brain—that is, not only write it, but know that it had written it.
Doron Swade, The Difference Engine: Penguin, Swade, Difference Engine, Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: Simon and Schuster, Clarendon Press, The question of whether consciousness, thought, and agency are really necessary on the part of the composer was a particularly vexed issue for the Romantic poets. Hartley, Observations on Man, Coleridge, Biographia Literaria, in Major Works, Coleridge, Biographia Literaria, However, even here she describes free will as subject to certain laws: Like the Prophets of old, I shall but speak the voice I am inspired with.
It is ambiguous possibly deliberately so in which sense she is using it. Unlike Coleridge, Lovelace does not seem to resist the idea of her body as an instrument acted upon by external forces—instead, she is fascinated and indeed proud of the idiosyncrasies and individualities of her physical frame which make it a particularly adept instrument. Importantly, however, the entity must be structured in such a way that it is able to respond to these forces—the lyre must be tuned, the engine must be constructed in such a way that it can receive input, in order for them to be able to transmute the wind into music, or perform mathematical operations.
Swade, Difference Engine, — Likewise, Lovelace is clear that external stimulation or input is critical for her capacity to produce work of any kind: Could it not, by acting upon words instead of numbers, likewise weave these into song?
The machine contains letters in alphabetical arrangement. Out of these, through the medium of numbers, rendered tangible by being expressed by indentures on wheel-work, the instrument selects such as are requisite to form the verse con- ceived; the components of words suited to form hexameters being alone previously calculated, the harmonious combination of which will be found to be practically interminable.
Charles Babbage, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher, The poet gave me much information on all the subjects connected with the plan, and amongst other things, observed that when he published his beautifully illustrated work on Italy, that he had paid 9,l. Edinburgh University Press,3. Scott, The Betrothed, 4. Scott, The Betrothed, 5. See Isaacson, The Innovators, As Swade observes, the operator does not need to understand either the mechanics or the mathematical principles upon which the Difference Engine func- tions in order to operate it.
Coleridge, Biographia Literaria in Major Works, Coleridge, in a passage which almost reads like a premonition of the Eureka machine, goes on to liken such language to a press-room of larger and smaller stereotype pieces, which, in the present Anglo- Gallican fashion of unconnected, epigrammatic periods, requires but an ordinary portion of ingenuity to vary indefinitely, and yet still produce something, which, if not sense, will be so like it as to do as well.
The Analytical Engine, on the other hand, is anything but random, operating on clearly defined and logical principles, a series of rules, which renders it a much more serious challenge to ideas concerning the role of cognition in the production of poetry. Pilot Press Limited, ,