She was called as the "enchantress of numbers" and is credited with creating the first ever program for an Analytical Engine.

On the occasion of Ada Lovelace, 197th birthday, Google has doodled the evolution of computers from the days of an analytical engine to the present day laptops and tablet PCs.

The doodle shows Ada Lovelace writing the pioneering computer program with a quill pen. She is seated on a desk and the paper scroll she is writing her algorithm on twirls in the shape of the letters of the Google logo.

Ada King, the countess of Lovelace, was born on December 10, 1815 in Piccadilly Terrace, Middlesex, England. She was the daughter of the famous poet Lord Byron. Her original name was Augusta Ada Byron and on her marriage to William King she became Ada King and later her husband became an earl, she became the Countess of Lovelace.

Although she was educated at home by tutors, the influence of Augustus De Morgan, honed her mathematical skills. De Morgan was the first Professor of Mathematics at the University of London.

Her association with Charles Babbage, considered to be the father of computers, began when she translated an article by Italian Mathematician and Engineer Luigi Federico on Babbage's proposed Analytical Engine.

She not only translated the work but added her notes to it. It was Babbage who called her “the enchantress of numbers”.

Ada Lovelace died at the young age of 36 on November 27, 1852 of uterine cancer.

Even though scholars are divided over her contribution to early computing, a computer language, Ada, is named after her. A medal is also awarded in her name by the British Computer Society.

abhishek.l@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 10, 2012)
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