ADA LOVELACE: A Fairy in Your Corner

in Daily Programme

by Soliel Snook on Saturday, 2 August, 2008

“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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