Biography Project – My Research on Ada Lovelace

Q1.) What is a BIOGRAPHY?

  • an account of someone’s life written by someone else.
synonyms: life story, life history, life, memoir, profile, account.

the course of a person’s life.



Q2.) What does Lady Lovelace look like?

A watercolour portrait of Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, 1840. (Ada Lovelace) Source:
Ada Lovelace. Source:
Ada Lovelace. Source:


Q3.) Who is Ada Lovelace?

Below information sourced from my Wikipedia research:

The imediate information about Ada Lovelace:

  • Ada was a countess of Lovelace (Byron; 10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852). 

Q4.) What is a countess?

A countess is the wife or widow of a count or earl or a woman holding the rank of a count or earl in her own right.


Q5.) What is a count?

Count (male) or countess (female) is a title in European countries for a noble of varying status, but historically deemed to convey an approximate rank intermediate between the highest and lowest titles of nobility.


Q6.) What is a noble?

Nobility is a social class, normally ranked immediately under royalty, that posses more acknowledged privileges and eminence than most other classes in society, membership thereof typically being hereditary.


  • Ada was an English MATHEMATICIAN and WRITER.
  • Ada is chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. (HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT WORLD CHANGING WORK)

Q7.) Who is Charles Babbage?

Charles Babbage. Source:
Charles Babbage. Source:

Charles Babbage (26 December 1791 – 18 October 1871) was an English polymath. A mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer, Babbage is best remembered for originating the concept of a programmable computer.  Considered to some to be a “father of the computer”. Babbage is creditied with inventing the first mechanical computer that eventually led to more complex designs.  Parts of Babbage’s uncompleted mechanisms are on display in the London Science Museum. In 1991 a perfectly functioning difference engine was constructed from Babbage’s original plans. Built to tolerances achievable in the 19th century, the success of the finished engine indicated that Babbage’s machine would have worked.


Q8.) What is the Analytical Engine?

The Analytical Engine. Source:
The Analytical Engine. Source:

The Analytical Engine was a proposed mechanical general-purpose computer designed by English mathematician and computer pioneer Charles Babbage. It was described in 1837 as the successor to Babbage’s difference engine, a design for a mechanical computer. The Analytical Engine incorporated an arithmetic logic unit, control flow in the form of conditional branching and loops, and integrated memory, making it the first design for a general-purpose computer that could be described in modern terms as Turing complete. In other words, the logical structure of the Analytical Engine was essentially the same as that which has dominated the computer design in the electronic era.

Babbage was never able to complete construction of any of his machines due to conflicts with his chief engineer and inadequate funding. It was not until the 1940s that the first general-purpose computers were built, more than a century after Babbage had proposed the pioneering Analytical Engine in 1837.


Q8.) What is a Turing complete?

In computability theory, a system of data-manipulation rules (such as a computer’s instruction set, a programmable language, or cellular automaton) is said to be a Turing complete or computationally universal if it can be used to simulate and single-taped Turing machine. The concept is named after English mathematican Alan Turing.


  • Ada’s notes on the Analytical engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be carried out by the machine. As a result, she is often regarded as the first computer programmer.

Q9.) What is an algorithm?

Bernoulli number ‘algorithm’, Ada Lovelace, 1843. Source:

In mathematics and computer science, and algorithm is a self-contained step-by-step set of operations to be performed. Algorithms exist that perform calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning.


Ada’s Childhood:

  • Ada Lovelace was the only legitimate child of the poet George Lord Byron and his wife Anne Isabella Milbanke (“Annabella”), Lady Wentworth. All Byron’s other children were born out of wedlock to other women.
  • Byron expected his baby to be a “glorious boy” and was disappointed when his wife gave birth to a girl.
  • Byron seperated from his wife a month after Ada was born and left England forever four months later, eventually dying of disease in the Greek War of Independence when Ada was eight years old.
  • Although English law at the time gave fathers full custody of their children in cases of separation, Byron made no attempt to claim his parental rights but did request that his sister keep him informed of Ada’s welfare.
  • Ada’s mother remained bitter towards Lord Byron and promoted Ada’s interest in mathematics and logic in an effort to prevent her from developing what she saw as the insanity seen in her father, but Ada remained interested in him depsite this (and was, upon her eventual death, buried next to him at her request).
  • Aside from an acrimonious separation, Annabella continually made allegations about Byron’s immoral behaviour throughout her life.
  • Ada was not shown the family portrait of her father (covered in green shroud) until her twentieth birthday.
  • Ada’s mother was the only significant parental figure in her life.
  • Annabella did not have a close relationship with the young Ada, and often left her in the care of her own mother Judith, Hon. Lady Milbanke, who doted on her grandchild.
  • However, because of societal attitudes of the time—which favoured the husband in any separation, with the welfare of any child acting as mitigation—Annabella had to present herself as a loving mother to the rest of society. This included writing anxious letters to Lady Milbanke about Ada’s welfare, with a cover note saying to retain the letters in case she had to use them to show maternal concern. In one letter to Lady Milbanke, she referred to Ada as “it”: “I talk to it for your satisfaction, not my own, and shall be very glad when you have it under your own.” In her teenage years, several of her mother’s close friends watched Ada for any sign of moral deviation. Ada dubbed these observers the “Furies”, and later complained they exaggerated and invented stories about her.
  • Often ill, she spent most of her childhood sick. Ada was often ill, beginning in early childhood. At the age of eight, she experienced headaches that obscured her vision. In June 1829, she was paralysed after a bout of measles. She was subjected to continuous bed rest for nearly a year, which may have extended her period of disability. By 1831, she was able to walk with crutches.
  • Despite being ill Ada developed her mathematical and technological skills. At age 12 this future “Lady Fairy”, as Charles Babbage affectionately called her, decided she wanted to fly. Ada went about the project methodically, thoughtfully, with imagination and passion. Her first step in February 1828, was to construct wings. She investigated different material and sizes. She considered various materials for the wings: paper, oilsilk, wires and feathers. 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”.
  • In early 1833 Ada had an affair with a tutor and, after being caught, tried to elope with him. The tutor’s relatives recognised her and contacted her mother. Annabella and her friends covered the incident up to prevent a public scandal.
Ada aged four. Source:
Ada aged four. Source:
Ada Byron aged seventeen, 1832. Source:
Ada Byron aged seventeen, 1832. Source:
Ada Lovelace as a child. Source:
Ada Lovelace as a child. Source:
Ada's father Geroge Gordon Byron. Source:,_6th_Baron_Byron_by_Richard_Westall_(2).jpg
Ada’s father Geroge Gordon Byron. Source:,_6th_Baron_Byron_by_Richard_Westall_(2).jpg











Portrait of Anne Isabella Milbanke. Souce:,_Baroness_Byron#/media/File:Annabella_Byron_(1792-1860).jpg

Adult years:

  • Ada’s educational and social exploits brought her into contact with scientists such as Andrew Crosse, Sir David Brewster, Charles Wheatstone, Michael Faraday and the author Charles Dickens, which she used to further her education. Ada described her approach as “poetical science” and herself as an “Analyst (& Metaphysician)”.
  • As a teenager, her mathematical talents led her to an ongoing working relationship and friendship with fellow British mathematican Charles Babbage, also known as ‘the father of the computers’, and in particular, Babbage’s work on the Analytical Engine.
  • Lovelace became close friends with her tutor Mary Somerville. She had a strong respect and affection for Somerville,and the two of them corresponded for many years.
  • Lovelace believed that intuition and imagination were critical to effectively applying mathematical and scientific concepts. She valued metaphysics as much as mathematics, viewing both as tools for exploring “the unseen worlds around us”.
  • Lovelace first met Babbage in 1833, through their mutal friend, and her private tutor, Mary Somerville.
  • Ada married William Lord King in 1835. King was made Earl of Lovelace in 1838, and she became Lady Lovelace.
William Lord King. Source:,_1st_Earl_of_Lovelace#/media/File:1stEarlOfLovelace.gif
William Lord King. Source:,_1st_Earl_of_Lovelace#/media/File:1stEarlOfLovelace.gif
  • They had three children: Byron (born 12 May 1836); Anne Isabella (called Annabella; born 22 September 1837); and Ralph Gordon (born 2 July 1839). Immediately after the birth of Annabella, Lady King experienced “a tedious and suffering illness, which took months to cure.”
  • Ada’s mother assigned William Benjamin Carpenter to teach Ada’s children, and to act as a ‘moral’ instructor for Ada. He quickly fell for her, and encouraged her to express any frustrated affections, claiming that his marriage meant he’d never act in an “unbecoming” manner. When it became clear that Carpenter was trying to start an affair, Ada cut it off.
  • In 1841 Lovelace and Medora Leigh (the daughter of Lord Byron’s half-sister Augusta Leigh) were told by Ada’s mother that her father was also Medora’s father. On 27 February 1841 Ada wrote to her mother: “I am not in the least astonished. 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.” She did not blame the incestuous relationship on Byron, but instead blamed Augusta Leigh: “I fear she is more inherently wicked than he ever was.
  • Between 1842 and 1843, Ada translated an article by Italian military engineer Luigi Menabra on the Analytical Engine, which she supplemented with an elaborate set of notes, simple called Notes.
Luigi Menabrea. Source:
Luigi Menabrea. Source:
  • These notes contain what many consider to be the first computer program – that is, an agorithm designed to be carried out by a machine.
  • Lovelace’s notes are important in the early history of computers.
  • Ada also developed a vision of the capability of computers to go beyond mere calculating or number-crunching, while many others, including Babbage himself, focused only on those capabilities.
  • Ada’s mind-set of “poetical science” led her to ask the questions about the Analytical Engine (as shown in her notes) examining how individuals and society relate to technology as a collaborative tool.
  • In the 1840s Ada flirted with scandals: firstly from a relaxed relationship with men who were not her husband, which led to rumours of affairs —and secondly, her love of gambling.
  • She had a shadowy relationship with Andrew Crosse’s son John from 1844 onwards.
  • The gambling led to her forming a syndicate with male friends, and an ambitious attempt in 1851 to create a mathematical model for successful large bets. This went disastrously wrong, leaving her thousands of pounds in debt to the syndicate, forcing her to admit it all to her husband.
  • Ada died of uterine cancer in 1852 at the age of 36. Lovelace died at the age of 36 – the same age that her father had died – on 27 November 1852, from uterine cancer probably exacerbated by bloodletting by her physicians. The illness lasted several months, in which time Annabella took command over whom Ada saw, and excluded all of her friends and confidants. Under her mother’s influence, she had a religious transformation and was coaxed into repenting of her previous conduct and making Annabella her executor.
  • 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. During her final illness, she would panic at the idea of the younger Crosse being kept from visiting her.
  • She lost contact with her husband after she confessed something to him on 30 August which caused him to abandon her bedside. What she told him is unknown.


  • The computer language Ada, created on behalf of the United States Department of Defense, was named after Lovelace. The reference manual for the language was approved on 10 December 1980 and the Department of Defense Military Standard for the language, MIL-STD-1815, was given the number of the year of her birth.
  • Since 1998 the British Computer Society has awarded a medal in her name and in 2008 initiated an annual competition for women students of computer science. In the UK the BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium, the annual conference for women undergraduates is named after Lovelace.
  • “Ada Lovelace Day” is an annual event celebrated in mid-October whose goal is to “… raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths,” and to “create new role models for girls and women” in these fields.

Relevant videos/media:


“A woman in a man’s world”

Quotes by Ada Lovelace:






Author: ellosweetmellon

I am 21 years old and I live in Cardif. My dream is to be a great illustrator that can sell and exhibit my work with pride.

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