professors of Mines will give a presentation on “Ada Lovelace: First Computer Programmer” | New


Ada lovelace

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Born in the 19th century, Ada Lovelace lived in a world that intellectually expected very little of her. Yet Lovelace is considered the very first person in history to write computer programming code.

Erica Haugtvedt, Assistant Professor at South Dakota Mines, has studied the life of Lovelace and will present “Ada Lovelace: First Computer Programmer? at 11 a.m. on Tuesday October 20 via Zoom. Haugtvedt’s presentation, part of the Department of Mining Humanities’ Brown Bag series, is based on an article written in partnership with Professor of Mechanical Engineering Duane Abata. Haugtvedt plans to present her paper at the ASEE Women in Engineering 2021 conference.

“If Ada hadn’t been a woman, we would probably already know about her,” Haugtvedt said. “But the mathematicians of the day believed that women were incapable of studying mathematics at this higher level. She was not well known to ordinary people for her mathematics during her life.

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Lovelace was the only legitimate daughter of outrageous poet Lord Byron. Although she never knew her father – her parents separated when she was a month old – she grew up in an upper-class household. Her mother, Anne Isabella Noel Byron, was a mathematician and recognized the same talents in her daughter. Lovelace studied with tutors throughout her childhood, and when it came time to get married in 1835, she was fortunate enough to marry a man who supported her mathematical interests.


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