Ada Lovelace Meets Charles Babbage - Computing History
Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly . Lovelace did not have a close relationship with her mother. .. Babbage's friend Charles Wheatstone commissioned Ada Lovelace to translate. 1 day ago What we do know is that Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace did try to as husband and wife, and while they had a strong sexual relationship. Ada was 17 when she first met Babbage at one of his salon parties where he was introducing What are some lesser known facts about Ada Lovelace's biography ? What was the relationship between Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace?.
Byshe was able to walk with crutches. Despite the illnesses, she developed her mathematical and technological skills. At the age of twelve, this future "Lady Fairy", as Charles Babbage affectionately called her, decided she wanted to fly. Ada Byron went about the project methodically, thoughtfully, with imagination and passion. Her first step, in Februarywas to construct wings. She investigated different material and sizes. She considered various materials for the wings: She examined the anatomy of birds to determine the right proportion between the wings and the body.
She decided to write a book, Flyology, illustrating, with plates, some of her findings. She decided what equipment she would need; for example, a compass, to "cut across the country by the most direct road", so that she could surmount mountains, rivers, and valleys. Her final step was to integrate steam with the "art of flying". After being caught, she tried to elope with him but the tutor's relatives recognised her and contacted her mother. Lady Byron and her friends covered the incident up to prevent a public scandal.
Allegra died in at the age of five. Lovelace did have some contact with Elizabeth Medora Leighthe daughter of Byron's half-sister Augusta Leigh, who purposely avoided Lovelace as much as possible when introduced at court.
She had a strong respect and affection for Somerville,  and they corresponded for many years.
She was presented at Court at the age of seventeen "and became a popular belle of the season" in part because of her "brilliant mind. She danced often and was able to charm many people, and was described by most people as being dainty, although John HobhouseByron's friend, described her as "a large, coarse-skinned young woman but with something of my friend's features, particularly the mouth".
This first impression was not to last, and they later became friends. The Manor had been built as a hunting lodge in and was improved by King in preparation for their honeymoon. It later became their summer retreat and was further improved during this time.
Immediately after the birth of Annabella, Lady King experienced "a tedious and suffering illness, which took months to cure. In —44, Ada's mother assigned William Benjamin Carpenter to teach Ada's children and to act as a "moral" instructor for Ada. When it became clear that Carpenter was trying to start an affair, Ada cut it off. In fact, you merely confirm what I have for years and years felt scarcely a doubt about, but should have considered it most improper in me to hint to you that I in any way suspected.
This went disastrously wrong, leaving her thousands of pounds in debt to the syndicate, forcing her to admit it all to her husband. John Crosse destroyed most of their correspondence after her death as part of a legal agreement.
She bequeathed him the only heirlooms her father had personally left to her. She was privately schooled in mathematics and science by William FrendWilliam King[a] and Mary Somervillethe noted 19th-century researcher and scientific author. One of her later tutors was the mathematician and logician Augustus De Morgan. Fromwhen she was seventeen, her mathematical abilities began to emerge,  and her interest in mathematics dominated the majority of her adult life.
In a letter to Lady Byron, De Morgan suggested that her daughter's skill in mathematics could lead her to become "an original mathematical investigator, perhaps of first-rate eminence".
While studying differential calculusshe wrote to De Morgan: I may remark that the curious transformations many formulae can undergo, the unsuspected and to a beginner apparently impossible identity of forms exceedingly dissimilar at first sight, is I think one of the chief difficulties in the early part of mathematical studies. It was often claimed that errors in tables could make ships run aground or bridges collapse. State of the Art There were mechanical calculators long before Babbage.
Pascal made one inand we now know there was even one in antiquity. Tables were made by human computers, with the work divided across a team, and the lowest-level computations being based on evaluating polynomials say from series expansions using the method of differences. What Babbage imagined is that there could be a machine—a Difference Engine—that could be set up to compute any polynomial up to a certain degree using the method of differences, and then automatically step through values and print the results, taking humans and their propensity for errors entirely out of the loop.
Museum of the History of Science By earlythe year-old Babbage was busy studying different types of machinery, and producing plans and prototypes of what the Difference Engine could be.
Babbage was slightly distracted in by the prospect of joining a life insurance startup, for which he did a collection of life-table calculations. Babbage had them printed on yellow paper on the theory that this would minimize user error. When I was in elementary school, logarithm tables were still the fast way to do multiplication. The same year, though, his wife died. She had had eight children with him, but only three survived to adulthood. Though often distracted, Babbage continued to work on the Difference Engine, generating thousands of pages of notes and designs.
He was quite hands on when it came to personally drafting plans or doing machine-shop experiments.
Ada Lovelace - Wikipedia
But he was quite hands off in managing the engineers he hired—and he did not do well at managing costs. Still, by a working prototype of a small Difference Engine without a printer had successfully been completed. And this is what Ada Lovelace saw in June She had gotten to know Mary Somervilletranslator of Laplace and a well-known expositor of science—and partly with her encouragement, was soon, for example, enthusiastically studying Euclid.
And inAda went along on a philanthropic tour of mills in the north of England that her mother was doing, and was quite taken with the then-high-tech equipment they had. Babbage seems at first to have underestimated Ada, trying to interest her in the Silver Lady automaton toy that he used as a conversation piece for his parties and noting his addition of a turban to it.
But Ada continued to interact with as she put it Mr. Somerville, both separately and together. And soon Babbage was opening up to her about many intellectual topics, as well as about the trouble he was having with the government over funding of the Difference Engine.
William seems to have been a precise, conscientious and decent man, if somewhat stiff. But in any case, Ada and he hit it off, and they were married on July 8,with Ada keeping the news quiet until the last minute to avoid paparazzi-like coverage. InQueen Victoria then 18 came to the throne, and as a member of high society, Ada met her. InWilliam was made an earl for his government work, and Ada become the Countess of Lovelace.
Powerhouse Museum Sydney Within a few months of the birth of her third child inAda decided to get more serious about mathematics again. Yes, it was a small world.
But in keeping with the math education traditions of the time and still todayDe Morgan set Ada on studying calculus. British Library Her letters to De Morgan about calculus are not unlike letters from a calculus student today—except for the Victorian English. Ada was a tenacious student, and seemed to have had a great time learning more and more about mathematics. Outwardly, Ada treated her mother with great respect. But in many ways she seems to have found her controlling and manipulative.
And she increasingly criticized Ada for her child rearing, household management and deportment in society. Babbage is well known for not having suffered fools gladly. Why didn't he simply break off the relationship? What was she to him?
Lovelace's connection to the levers of power, via her noble status, was something to be treated with great delicacy. Like Wheatstone, Babbage must have seen in her the possibility of bypassing the parliamentarians who now regarded him as something of a "crank" and appealing directly to the Royal family. The plan, if it ever indeed was a plan, never worked of course.
First of all, it is not clear that the Lovelaces' connection to Victoria and Albert was ever so close that they could have wielded the degree of influence necessary. Ada's husband, just Lord King at the time of their marriage, had been raised to Earl of Lovelace by Victoria in the first year of her reign, but they were by no means part of the Queen's "inner circle.
Surely nearly every member of the Royal Society, many of whom were also nobles, would have been more likely candidates. If this were the plan, however, it would certainly call into question Babbage's claim that he knew nothing of the translation until it was finished. Are we to believe that Wheatstone attempted to make all these arrangements concerning his friend's most dear aspirations behind his back? To conclude, I have suggested that Ada Lovelace's outburst near the time of the publication of her translation and Notes of Menabrea's article on the Analytical Engine was in part justified, at least in her own mind, by her superior social status to Babbage, despite her obviously being much junior to him in both age and scholarly accomplishment.
In addition, I have argued that regardless of Lovelace's motives, Babbage's very measured reaction to her challenge is best explained in terms of the difference in their social classes, and the things he thought she might be able to gain for him in virtue of her social position.
Much of this is necessarily speculative, but it is my hope that this attention to class issues has shed new light on the complicated relationship that held between these two fascinating people. References Ashworth, William J.
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Baily, Herscel, Babbage and the business of astronomy. British Journal of the History of Science, 27, On the mathematical powers of the calculating engine.
In Martin Campbell-Kelly Ed. New York University Press. Passages from the life of a philosopher. Original work published Collier, Bruce. The little engines that could've: The calculating machines of Charles Babbage. Lady Lovelace and Charles Babbage.
Annals of the History of Computing, 2, Foundations of mathematics in France and England, Science in Context, 4, A life and a legacy. Ada, the enchantress of numbers: Published in Toole Letter to Lord Lovelace, published in Toole Babbage 5. Cited in Stein Published in both Steinand Toole MSSfol ; partially published in Toolewho says it is undated, and in Steinwho gives 27 July  as the date.