ADA LOVELACE: A Fairy in Your Corner

“I can throw rays from every quar­ter of the uni­verse into one vast focus” Augus­ta Ada Byron King – A Fairy in Your Cor­ner An Exhi­bi­tion curat­ed by Siri Wood­get August 1 – Octo­ber 25, 2008

Recep­tion and Music August 2, 2008
Music by Soliel Snook

Mes­merism, fly­ing machines, Roman­tic verse and pro­to-com­put­ers.… Ada Byron (King), oth­er­wise known as Lady Lovelace (1815–1852), stands at the inter­sec­tion of Vic­to­ri­an art and sci­ence. Daugh­ter of the rene­gade Lord Byron and his more numer­i­cal­ly mind­ed wife Annabel­la Mil­banke, Ada was born with dual pow­ers: her gift was to grasp and ren­der math­e­mat­i­cal the­o­ry with the imme­di­a­cy of poet­ry.

Ada’s deep friend­ship with the math­e­mati­cian Charles Bab­bage — design­er of the steam-pow­ered Dif­fer­ence and Ana­lyt­i­cal Engines — placed her at the ori­gins of the com­put­er age, and her genius for metaphor trans­lat­ed his the­o­ries into terms acces­si­ble to the edu­cat­ed lay­man. Most famous for her notes on the Ana­lyt­i­cal Engine, which some say rep­re­sent the first com­put­er pro­gram, Ada was admired and court­ed by the great minds of the day, includ­ing Michael Fara­day, the pio­neer of elec­tro­mag­net­ics, and Charles Dick­ens.

As a woman, an intel­lec­tu­al and a math­e­mati­cian, Ada cuts a com­pelling fig­ure. Although she died young, her con­tri­bu­tions to the his­to­ry of com­put­er sci­ence are sig­nif­i­cant. Join us in a cel­e­bra­tion of her unique con­tri­bu­tion, and find out how a young Vic­to­ri­an woman became the First Lady of com­put­er pro­gram­ming. The exhi­bi­tion will run from August 2 – Octo­ber 25

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