Ada Lovelace was a brilliant English mathematician. Today is her 197th birthday and she is being honored via Google Doodle. She has been an inspiration to me for quite some time.
My introduction to Ada came by way of reading James Glieck’s wonderful book, “The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood.” The historical grounding math, science and technical progress receive is refreshing and done with a wonderful sense of reverence for the crazy ones that pushed us forward.
Ada is an important figure in Glieck’s book. In addition to being a talented mathematician, she is considered to be the first programmer. There are two aspects of English life in the 1800′s that make such a consideration remarkable: the concept for computers as we now understand them did not exist and, more importantly, women were not allowed to attend university. She transcended the limitations of her era and made important contributions. She’s amazing.