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Unknown artist
image id: ps_cps_cd3_047

Unknown artist
[Ada Byron]
Watercolor, ca. 1835
NYPL, The Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle

Ada Byron inherited poetic imagination as well as good looks from her father, Lord Byron, but employed it in mathematics. The mathematician and scientist Mary Somerville was a friend and advisor; through Somerville, Ada met her future husband and also, probably, Charles Babbage, whose mathematical machines, the Difference Engine and the Analytical Engine, were precursors of the computer. This research became the great passion of her life, and she developed an early programming language. Much later, the United States Department of Defense named one of its computer languages ADA in her honor.

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