Untangling the Tale of Ada Lovelace—Stephen Wolfram Blog
In Mary introduced Ada to another mathematician, Charles Babbage. had insisted that she reveal a secret which could have ruined the relationship. Ada Byron, Later to be Countess Lovelace, first meets Charles Babbage in England. Babbage was known for his designs of early calculating machines. The daughter of English poet Lord Byron, Augusta Ada King, better known as " Ada Lovelace," expanded on Charles Babbage's theoretical.
Museum of the History of Science By earlythe year-old Babbage was busy studying different types of machinery, and producing plans and prototypes of what the Difference Engine could be.
Babbage was slightly distracted in by the prospect of joining a life insurance startup, for which he did a collection of life-table calculations. Babbage had them printed on yellow paper on the theory that this would minimize user error. When I was in elementary school, logarithm tables were still the fast way to do multiplication. The same year, though, his wife died. She had had eight children with him, but only three survived to adulthood.
Though often distracted, Babbage continued to work on the Difference Engine, generating thousands of pages of notes and designs. He was quite hands on when it came to personally drafting plans or doing machine-shop experiments. But he was quite hands off in managing the engineers he hired—and he did not do well at managing costs. Still, by a working prototype of a small Difference Engine without a printer had successfully been completed.
And this is what Ada Lovelace saw in June She had gotten to know Mary Somervilletranslator of Laplace and a well-known expositor of science—and partly with her encouragement, was soon, for example, enthusiastically studying Euclid. And inAda went along on a philanthropic tour of mills in the north of England that her mother was doing, and was quite taken with the then-high-tech equipment they had. Babbage seems at first to have underestimated Ada, trying to interest her in the Silver Lady automaton toy that he used as a conversation piece for his parties and noting his addition of a turban to it.
But Ada continued to interact with as she put it Mr. Somerville, both separately and together. And soon Babbage was opening up to her about many intellectual topics, as well as about the trouble he was having with the government over funding of the Difference Engine.
William seems to have been a precise, conscientious and decent man, if somewhat stiff. But in any case, Ada and he hit it off, and they were married on July 8,with Ada keeping the news quiet until the last minute to avoid paparazzi-like coverage.
InQueen Victoria then 18 came to the throne, and as a member of high society, Ada met her. InWilliam was made an earl for his government work, and Ada become the Countess of Lovelace. Powerhouse Museum Sydney Within a few months of the birth of her third child inAda decided to get more serious about mathematics again.
Yes, it was a small world. But in keeping with the math education traditions of the time and still todayDe Morgan set Ada on studying calculus. British Library Her letters to De Morgan about calculus are not unlike letters from a calculus student today—except for the Victorian English. Ada was a tenacious student, and seemed to have had a great time learning more and more about mathematics.
Outwardly, Ada treated her mother with great respect. But in many ways she seems to have found her controlling and manipulative. And she increasingly criticized Ada for her child rearing, household management and deportment in society. But by February 6,Ada was feeling good enough about herself and her mathematics to write a very open letter to her mother about her thoughts and aspirations.
But then, three weeks later, her mother dropped a bombshell, claiming that before Ada was born, Byron and his half-sister had had a child together. Ada took the whole thing very hard, and it derailed her from mathematics.
Ada had had intermittent health problems for years, but in they apparently worsened, and she started systematically taking opiates. She was very keen to excel in something, and began to get the idea that perhaps it should be music and literature rather than math.
But her husband William seems to have talked her out of this, and by late she was back to doing mathematics.
Back to Babbage What had Babbage been up to while all this had been going on? Still, he wrote what turned out to be a fairly influential book, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufacturesdealing with such things as how to break up tasks in factories an issue that had actually come up in connection with the human computation of mathematical tables.
Inhe weighed in on the then-popular subject of natural theology, appending his Ninth Bridgewater Treatise to the series of treatises written by other people. The central question was whether there is evidence of a deity from the apparent design seen in nature. Babbage tried his hand at politics, running for parliament twice on a manufacturing-oriented platform, but failed to get elected, partly because of claims of misuse of government funds on the Difference Engine.
Babbage also continued to have upscale parties at his large and increasingly disorganized house in London, attracting such luminaries as Charles DickensCharles DarwinFlorence NightingaleMichael Faraday and the Duke of Wellington —with his aged mother regularly in attendance. But even though the degrees and honors that he listed after his name ran to 6 lines, he was increasingly bitter about his perceived lack of recognition.
Central to this was what had happened with the Difference Engine. Babbage had hired one of the leading engineers of his day to actually build the engine. Back inshortly after he met Ada, Babbage had tried to rein in the project—but the result was that his engineer quit, and insisted that he got to keep all the plans for the Difference Engine, even the ones that Babbage himself had drawn.
At first, he just thought about having the machine evaluate fixed formulas, but as he studied different use cases, he added other capabilities, like conditionals—and figured out often very clever ways to implement them mechanically.
Museum of the History of Science Babbage created some immensely complicated designs, and today it seems remarkable that they could work. But back in Babbage had invented something he called Mechanical Notation—that was intended to provide a symbolic representation for the operation of machinery in the same kind of way that mathematical notation provides a symbolic representation for operations in mathematics.
It was a modest sum relative to other government expenditures, but the project was unusual enough to lead to a fair amount of discussion. And he kept on trying to get further government support, and created plans for a Difference Engine No.
Bythe government had changed, and Babbage insisted on meeting with the new prime minister Robert Peelbut ended up just berating him. She examined the anatomy of birds to determine the right proportion between the wings and the body. She decided to write a book, Flyology, illustrating, with plates, some of her findings. She decided what equipment she would need; for example, a compass, to "cut across the country by the most direct road", so that she could surmount mountains, rivers, and valleys.
Her final step was to integrate steam with the "art of flying". After being caught, she tried to elope with him but the tutor's relatives recognised her and contacted her mother.
Lady Byron and her friends covered the incident up to prevent a public scandal. Allegra died in at the age of five. Lovelace did have some contact with Elizabeth Medora Leighthe daughter of Byron's half-sister Augusta Leigh, who purposely avoided Lovelace as much as possible when introduced at court.
She had a strong respect and affection for Somerville,  and they corresponded for many years. She was presented at Court at the age of seventeen "and became a popular belle of the season" in part because of her "brilliant mind. She danced often and was able to charm many people, and was described by most people as being dainty, although John HobhouseByron's friend, described her as "a large, coarse-skinned young woman but with something of my friend's features, particularly the mouth".
This first impression was not to last, and they later became friends. The Manor had been built as a hunting lodge in and was improved by King in preparation for their honeymoon. It later became their summer retreat and was further improved during this time. Immediately after the birth of Annabella, Lady King experienced "a tedious and suffering illness, which took months to cure. In —44, Ada's mother assigned William Benjamin Carpenter to teach Ada's children and to act as a "moral" instructor for Ada.
When it became clear that Carpenter was trying to start an affair, Ada cut it off. In fact, you merely confirm what I have for years and years felt scarcely a doubt about, but should have considered it most improper in me to hint to you that I in any way suspected.
This went disastrously wrong, leaving her thousands of pounds in debt to the syndicate, forcing her to admit it all to her husband. John Crosse destroyed most of their correspondence after her death as part of a legal agreement.
She bequeathed him the only heirlooms her father had personally left to her. She was privately schooled in mathematics and science by William FrendWilliam King[a] and Mary Somervillethe noted researcher and scientific author of the 19th century. One of her later tutors was the mathematician and logician Augustus De Morgan.
Fromwhen she was seventeen, her mathematical abilities began to emerge,  and her interest in mathematics dominated the majority of her adult life.
Ada Lovelace - Wikipedia
In a letter to Lady Byron, De Morgan suggested that her daughter's skill in mathematics could lead her to become "an original mathematical investigator, perhaps of first-rate eminence". While studying differential calculusshe wrote to De Morgan: I may remark that the curious transformations many formulae can undergo, the unsuspected and to a beginner apparently impossible identity of forms exceedingly dissimilar at first sight, is I think one of the chief difficulties in the early part of mathematical studies.
I am often reminded of certain sprites and fairies one reads of, who are at one's elbows in one shape now, and the next minute in a form most dissimilar  Lovelace believed that intuition and imagination were critical to effectively applying mathematical and scientific concepts.
She valued metaphysics as much as mathematics, viewing both as tools for exploring "the unseen worlds around us". Although in great pain at the time, she agreed to sit for the painting as her father, Lord Byronhad been painted by Phillips' father, Thomas Phillips.
Under her mother's influence, she had a religious transformation and was coaxed into repenting of her previous conduct and making Annabella her executor. What she told him is unknown. Mary Magdalene in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire. A memorial plaque in Latin to her and her father is in the chapel attached to Horsley Towers. Work Throughout her life, Lovelace was strongly interested in scientific developments and fads of the day, including phrenology  and mesmerism.
In she commented to a friend Woronzow Greig about her desire to create a mathematical model for how the brain gives rise to thoughts and nerves to feelings "a calculus of the nervous system".
In part, her interest in the brain came from a long-running pre-occupation, inherited from her mother, about her 'potential' madness.
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As part of her research into this project, she visited the electrical engineer Andrew Crosse in to learn how to carry out electrical experiments. Later that month Babbage invited Lovelace to see the prototype for his Difference Engine.
Babbage was impressed by Lovelace's intellect and analytic skills. He called her "The Enchantress of Number". Forget this world and all its troubles and if possible its multitudinous Charlatans—every thing in short but the Enchantress of Number. With the article, she appended a set of notes. She wrote that "The Analytical Engine has no pretensions whatever to originate anything. It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform. It can follow analysis; but it has no power of anticipating any analytical relations or truths.
When Taylor 's Scientific Memoirs ruled that the statement should be signed, Babbage wrote to Lovelace asking her to withdraw the paper. This was the first that she knew he was leaving it unsigned, and she wrote back refusing to withdraw the paper. The historian Benjamin Woolley theorised that: Part of the terrace at Worthy Manor was known as Philosopher's Walk, as it was there that Lovelace and Babbage were reputed to have walked while discussing mathematical principles.
She then augmented the paper with notes, which were added to the translation.