Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace, born Ada Byron, is a very important person in technology. Considered by many to be the world's first computer programmer, she designed an algorithm to be executed by Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine in 1842. The Analytical Engine was a design for a mechanical device that had all of the essential functions of a fully programmable computer.

Watercolor portrait of Ada King, Countess of Lovelace
(Ada Lovelace)
by Alfred Edward Chalon, 1840.
Public domain: Wikimedia Commons.

Ada was instrumental in helping Babbage secure funding for the analytical engine, as she was the more articulate than Babbage when it came to describing the device's potential. She also had connections to the royal court, which was the primary source of funding for the analytical engine. Unfortunately, the device was never completed due to its exorbitant cost, but modern mathematicians have verified that it would work if built. To find out more about Ada Lovelace, visit her wikipedia page.