Today's the day that women get to say "yeehaw! We have a token member of our kind who was a significant figure in the development of technology! Take THAT world where women still work harder to make less money than men!"
Cynicism aside, however (and that is a hefty sack to set aside), HOORAY FOR ADA LOVELACE! For the uninitiated, here are some fun facts about the dear lady, starting with a picture (because all reporting on women has to include their appearance):
- Ms. Lovelace was the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the poet who you probably had to learn about in high school.
- Her success is not due to her father's influence: he died when she was nine. I imagine that she became a Pippy Longstocking-style inventive orphan. Except that she had a Mom and was technically not an orphan and also her Mom was awesome - leaving the cheating, douchey Byron and taking her daughter to raise her alone when the law at the time gave full custody of children to the father. So maybe they had a more mathematically-oriented version of the Gilmore household?
- She made a huge punch in the wall of computer programming by creating the first algorithm designed to be processed by a machine - thus the first ever computer program.
- Like a true lady, she saw the possibilities beyond the obvious in everything (or at least in computers) and was among the first to foresee that the would be used for more than just number-crunching. (Imagine if her and Steve Jobs had lived in the same time! CRAZY! They would have probably been serious frenemies, spurring each other on with competitive angst.)
- She was dubbed "The Enchantress of Numbers" by Charles Babbage, which is a pretty awesome title, if you ask me.