Google Doodle Recognizes Ada Lovelace
Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Ada Lovelace, who is regarded as the first computer programmer for her written work breaking down Charles Babbage’s design for the Analytical Engine. In the Doodle, Lovelace is seated at her desk with a quill pen and parchment. The parchment unrolls to spell "Google," with the subsequent letters dotted by illustrations of the progression of computers, beginning with Lovelace’s notes and ending with tablets. Dec. 10 marks Lovelace's 197th birthday; however, she was only 36 when she died in 1852.
Lovelace was the daughter of the famous British poet Lord Byron, however she followed in the footsteps of her mother, Lady Byron, who was proficient in math and encouraged Lovelace to go into the field. She was intrigued by Charles Babbage’s idea for the Analytical Engine, and her notes explaining the intricacies of the proposed machine serve as the first known evidence of computer programming.
Lovelace also pushed the idea of the computer beyond just a mathematical tool, noting its potential uses for things such as composing music. “The idea of a machine that could manipulate symbols in accordance with rules and that number could represent entities other than quantity mark the fundamental transition from calculation to computation,” ComputerHistory.org explains of Lovelace’s significance.
Aside from the Doodle, Lovelace has a day in her honor, Ada Lovelace Day, which was held on Oct. 16 of this year and will be held Oct. 15 of next year. Her inspiring work has also spawned the website findingada.com, which promotes her day as well as the advancement of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
“Women have a great future ahead of them in STEM," findingada.com's mission states. “By taking part in Ada Lovelace Day and telling others about the amazing work done by women, we can all help ensure that future is as bright as it should be.”
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