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About this Famous Person

Ada LOVELACE

English Ada LOVELACE

born Augusta Ada BYRON

English writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the analytical engine

Source :  Jean Pierre de PALMAS

Born: on December 10, 1815 in London, England
Died: on November 27, 1852 in Marylebone, London, England


Biography

Ada Augusta Byron was the child of the poet Lord Byron, 6th Lord Byron and his wife, Anne Isabella "Annabella" Milbanke, Baroness Wentworth. Byron, and many of those who knew Byron, expected that the baby would be "the glorious boy", and there was some disappointment at the contrary news. She was named after Byron's half-sister, Augusta Leigh, and was called "Ada" by Byron himself.

On 16 January 1816, Annabella, at Byron's behest, left for her parents' home at Kirkby Mallory taking one-month-old Lovelace with her. Although English law gave fathers full custody of their children in cases of separation, Byron made no attempt to claim his parental rights. On 21 April, Byron signed the Deed of Separation, although very reluctantly, and left England for good a few days later. Byron did not have a relationship with his daughter and he died in 1824 when she was nine; her mother was the only significant parental figure in her life. Her mother, Annabella, became Baroness Wentworth in her own right in 1856, being then the sole remaining representative of the Wentworth Viscounts.

Lovelace was often ill, dating from her early childhood. At the age of eight she experienced headaches that obscured her vision. In June 1829, she was paralysed after a bout of the 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.

Throughout her illnesses, Lovelace continued her education. Her mother's obsession with rooting out any of the insanity of which she accused Lord Byron was one of the reasons that Lovelace was taught mathematics from an early age. Lovelace was privately schooled in mathematics and science by William Frend, William King and Mary Somerville. One of her later tutors was the noted mathematician and logician Augustus De Morgan. From 1832, when she was seventeen, her remarkable mathematical abilities began to emerge, and her interest in mathematics dominated her life even after her marriage. In a letter to Lovelace's mother, De Morgan suggested that Lovelace's skill in mathematics could lead her to become "an original mathematical investigator, perhaps of first-rate eminence".

Lovelace never met her younger half-sister, Allegra Byron, daughter of Lord Byron and Claire Clairmont, who died in 1822 at the age of five. She did, however, have some contact with Elizabeth Medora Leigh, the daughter of Byron's half-sister Augusta Leigh. Augusta Leigh purposely avoided Lovelace as much as possible when she was introduced at Court.

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See Also :

- Category Mathématician