Q:

What contribution did Ada Byron make to computing?

A:

Ada Byron wrote a plan giving suggestions on how the Analytical Engine, created by Charles Babbage, could be used to produce a table of the Bernoulli numbers. In 1979, the U.S. Department of Defense developed a software program and named it "Ada" in honor of her contribution in computing.

Ada Byron was the daughter of noted poet Lord Byron. At a young age she began studies in math and science with her tutor, Augustus De Morgan. She met Babbage in her teen years at a party. Babbage gave Ada an overview of his Analytical Engine. She later contributed to the machine by publishing translations originally written in Italian. She did this in 1843.

Ada’s translation notes included algorithms, step-by-step sequences and actions to solve specific types of math problems. Ada also added some statements in the article, some of which speculated that not only could the engine act on numbers, but it could also act on other things. She also speculated that the engines would be able to compose extensive and elaborate pieces of music irrespective of the music's level of complexity. There are many other statements that she made and, as a result, today she is known as the first programmer.


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