Chika Onyedike

Finding stories of important unknowns

Ada Byron King, The Countess of Lovelace

November27

The Countess of LovelaceHello Welcome Visitors,

I’m Chika and the woman scientist I will be focusing on is Ada Byron who is also known as The Countess of Lovelace. I choose her because I was impressed to know that the first blueprint of a computer was made with a woman’s help. Also, the fact that her father was Lord Byron interested me because I thought “I wonder how his child turned out?” They both did work in completely different fields but they still influenced the world so my curiosity got the best of me. I think Ada Byron is a good role model because she strived to keep learning in a time period where intelligence was frownedupon in a woman. She also made an impact in the world with her Bernoulli number program even though she was acknowledged for her work long after her death. I will do my best to find out all I can on The Countess of Lovelace. I hope you will be impressed with my research.

Ada Augusta Byron, The Countess of Lovelace

Children of celebrities are assumed to have the best of everything in life. From schooling to clothes to access of money, in the eyes of normal people they seem to have it all. But in the case of Ada Byron, The Countess of Lovelace, her life was the exact opposite. She was born on December 10th, 1815 to Lord George Byron and Anna Milbanke. Shortly after her birth, her
infamous poet of a father separated from her mother. Although Milbanke was extremely cautious when taking her daughter out of the house for fear of her being stolen away by Byron, her worries were of her own imagination because Byron could not even afford to take his legitimate daughter with him out of the country. Once he left England, he never saw Ada again. With Byron gone, Milbanke wanted to make sure that Ada would be nothing like her father so she was tutored in math rather than in literature. Even though, Ada never actually knew her father she sympathized with him and would not let her mother’s harsh remarks over his person and character affect her feelings toward him. When she turned 17, Ada was introduced to an older man named Charles Babbage who was developing what we now know is a computer. Interested in his findings, Ada continued to learn more about mathematics to assist Babbage in his work even after marrying Lord William King and bearing him three children. Her math tutors consisted of William Frend, Mary Somerville, and Augustus De Morgan.With their help she was able to develop her own theories and notes, mainly her notes on Bernoulli numbers, and translate Babbage’s work to the general English public (L.F. Menabrea wrote about Babbage’s work in French). Unfortunately, on November 27th, 1852 she died of uterine cancer. Her last wish was to be buried beside her father who she had never known. Her contribution to Babbage’s work is the reason why people have access to computers today and she should be remembered fondly as the first woman computer programmer.

Augustus De Morgan vs. Ada Byron, The Countess of Lovelace British Mathmatician

 

 

 

In a presentation I conducted last week, I chose Augustus De Morgan, a fellow mathematician, to compare Ada Byron, The Countess of Lovelace, with. Although the most logical choice for a male scientist comparison would have been Charles Babbage, I felt it would be more of a challenge finding another person who had been previously acquainted with Byron. Augustus De Morgan had, at one point of Ada Byron’s life, been her tutor. He was the person who actually taught Byron the Bernoulli numbers in the first place. It was with  his help that she can be called first computer programmer.

Compare and contrast of The Countess of Lovelace and Augustus De Morgan

Academic
Backgrounds:
De Morgan- Private Schools, Trinity College/Cambridge Lovelace-
Tutors
Permanent
Positions:
De Morgan- Professor of Mathematics of London University Lovelace-
Wife/Mother
Compensation: De Morgan- Yes Lovelace-
No
Promotion: De Morgan- President of the Mathematical Society Lovelace-
None
Awards: De Morgan- Crater of the moon and the Headquarters of the London Mathematical Society named after him. Lovelace-
Has an Ada Lovelace Day and a computer language named after her.
Negative/Positive
Affect on Family Life:
De Morgan- Was the breadwinner
of his family so he had to have a job
Lovelace-
Her work with Babbage was considered her hobby so it did not disrupt her family life.

During the 17th century, women did not have any rights to their person and everything was handled by the men in their families. In Ada Byron’s case, since her father was dead then her mother was able to take care of everything including her education. However this meant that she as to get tutors or a governess. At the time there weren’t schools for just girls yet so
this is why Augustus De Morgan was able to go to private school while Byron did not. Although women did not have many opportunities for job, Byron could have been a governess but that would have been below her station in life. De Morgan, on the other hand, had to constantly have a job so he could provide for his family. Both of their awards came after their death, so in that particular category they are tied. So in the end, De Morgan benefited during his lifetime because he was male. Due to how the gender roles were assigned during their lifetime, men would have power in all things and that is why De Morgan could do more why Byron could not. Men could get more money while women could not. Men could achieve more things while women could not; the list goes on. However if Byron had lived in our time then she could have had a chance to develop her mathematical expertise. She could have really gone head to head with De Morgan and could have won but that is something we will never find out.

WITI: Women in Technology International and the Countess of LovelaceBuild, Empower, Inspire

 

 

 

Women in Technology International is an organization dedicated to advancement of women in technology. It began in 1989 as an email based network business by Carolyn Leighton. The organization has 140,000+ registered members which include men as well. The primary mission statement is to empower women. WITI is like a huge support group that asks for dues and gives classes on leadership and technology. Women in the group help each other with conflicts by providing advice and make sure to NOT bash men.  They want to be recognized as a formulation of women trying to better themselves and make connections on the way and not as women who are bitter to what other men receive in their working system. From what information can be found about WITI, Ada Byron would have been a part of the organization had she had been alive when it was created. Byron never had the chance to develop her computer skills so WITI’s values and principles would have benefited her in the field she was trying to branch out in.  Furthermore, without Ada Byron, WITI would have never been created so each side has a give and take aspect that contributes to the other. They both stand for stepping outside of the box and
differentiating themselves from anybody else; a motto we can all live by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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