“As high as girl knowledge, the edges are to the kitchen” is what ancient said to their daughter. But that doesn’t apply to this woman. Ada Lovelace is proof that someone who is very intellectual can be from among women. Augusta Ada Byron as known as Ada Lovelace born in London on December 10th, 1815, her father was a famous poet named Lord George Gordon Byron or better known as Lord Byron. Lord Byron is married to a woman named Lady Anne Isabella Milbanke Byron who is none other than Lovelace’s mother. Unfortunately, everything does not go well.
Lord Byron was not a good father or husband for his family. “The first poetry” that he said right after the birth of his child, there was “oh what a torment I have received from you”. Lord Byron’s marriage with his wife did not last long, a few weeks after Lovelace’s Birth, they separated, he never appeared before his family again, after that Lady Byron raised Lovelace by her self. Afraid of her child becoming like her father, Lady Byron raised her child differently, an unusual way for women of her time.
Since 4 years old, Lovelace was taught mathematics and science which was an unusual study for a woman at English at the time. Her mother believed that learning something logical would keep her from being like her father. with a rigorous and disciplined upbringing, Lovelace grew to be a respected mathematician. At the age of 17, Lovelace met with her mentor who would later raise her name further, namely Charles Babbage, or he is better known as “The Father of The Computer”.
Since with Babbage, Lovelace mastered mathematics to the advanced level. Feeling confident in Lovelace’s ability, Babbage asked Lovelace to translate an article about Babbage’s analytical engine theory written by an Italian engineer named Luigi Federico Menabrea. When translating the article, she was amazed at the theories contained in the article. Not satisfied with just translating it, she added her thoughts to the article so that the article became 3 times longer when it was published, and did not forget she added credit with the initials name, “AAL”.
Lovelace analysis is not over, she realized that Babbage’s analytic engine was very different from the previous calculating machine. She believes that this machine has potential far beyond just representing numbers, this is what Babbage failed to see. The results of this analysis are an important development in the world of computing and this analysis will lead humans to the world we know today. For her work, Lovelace is always known as The First Computer Programmer.
The invention of the Lovelace was not widely used and was known to scientists until 84 years after her death. Alan Turing a British scientist studied Lovelace’s writings until he succeeded in creating an innovative tool called the Turing Machine. Not only that, for its contribution the United States Department of Defense named their programming language with the name “ADA” in honor of Lovelace. Also, the British Computer Society in 2008 routinely holds computer science competitions for female students and names the medal with the name “ADA”. Nowadays, so many engineering scholarships are available to students to learn different programming languages for free but back then that was not even imaginable.
The second Tuesday of October is celebrated as Ada Lovelace Day. Ada Lovelace Day was founded by Suw Charman-Anderson in 2009 and aims to introduce a broad profile of women engaged in mathematics and technology and encourage the world to admire their work. Choosing the name Ada Lovelace in commemorating this day is because there Lovelace is a female role model in the world of mathematics and technology. In 2020, Ada Lovelace Day Commemorated on October 13th
Lovelace’s discoveries certainly cannot be separated from controversy. In 1970, Harvard student Bruce Collier wrote a biography of Babbage, in which he argued that “Lovelace made a considerable contribution to publicizing the Analytical Engine, but there is no evidence that she advanced the design or theory of it in any way”. Eugene Eric Kim and Betty Alexandra Toole shared Bruce’s opinion. They think so because Babbage wrote the initial programs for the Analytic Engine, although most of these were never published. These days it became quite easy for students to search and apply for scholarships to study abroad for free in order to produce such novel ideas and engineering marvels.
Behind the controversy, of course, some people defend Lovelace’s contribution. Stephen Wolfram, a British-American computer scientist, supports Lovelace’s contribution. He thought Babbage would help and provide corrections in Lovelace’s work, but Lovelace was still the driving force of the project. Besides Wolfram, there is Doron Swade, a computational historian, although he does not fully agree with Lovelace’s contribution, he agrees that only Lovelace is capable of seeing the potential of an analytic engine.
Lovelace’s youth was full of contribution, but not her old age. July 8 1835 Lovelace married the 8th Baron King. They have 3 children, namely Byron, Anne Issabella, and Ralph Gordon. Immediately after the birth of Anne Isabella, Lovelace suffered from an illness that required months of treatment.
Lovelace’s death was relatively fast, she died at the age of 36 years on November 27, 1852 due to uterine cancer which she had suffered for several months. Her husband left her after she said something to him, until now it is not known what she said. Lovelace was buried next to her father at St. Mary Magdalene’s Church in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire.
During her life, Lovelace made a big contribution to the world, even though various contradictions arose, we still have to appreciate her works. Lovelace is a form of women’s struggle in the world of science and shows that women can also make a big contribution to bringing progress to the world.