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Math Science Technology

Ada Lovelace and Her Legacy 139

nightcats writes: Nature has an extensive piece on the legacy of the "enchantress of abstraction," the extraordinary Victorian-era computer pioneer Ada Lovelace, daughter of the poet Lord Byron. Her monograph on the Babbage machine was described by Babbage himself as a creation of "that Enchantress who has thrown her magical spell around the most abstract of Sciences and has grasped it with a force that few masculine intellects (in our own country at least) could have exerted over it." Ada's remarkable merging of intellect and intuition — her capacity to analyze and capture the conceptual and functional foundations of the Babbage machine — is summarized with a historical context which reveals the precocious modernity of her scientific mind. "By 1841 Lovelace was developing a concept of 'Poetical Science', in which scientific logic would be driven by imagination, 'the Discovering faculty, pre-eminently. It is that which penetrates into the unseen worlds around us, the worlds of science.' She saw mathematics metaphysically, as 'the language of the unseen relations between things;' but added that to apply it, 'we must be able to fully appreciate, to feel, to seize, the unseen, the unconscious.' She also saw that Babbage's mathematics needed more imaginative presentation."
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Ada Lovelace and Her Legacy

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  • Lord Byron (Score:3, Interesting)

    by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Friday September 04, 2015 @12:59AM (#50455593) Journal
    When Lord Byron was attending Trinity college at Cambridge, he kept a bear. He was hauled in to be told to get rid of the bear, because domestic animals were prohibited by college rules from college rooms. His response: the bear is not a domestic animal. He got to keep the bear!
  • She also saw that Babbage's mathematics needed more imaginative presentation

    All they needed was steampunk Space Invaders.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "By 1841 Lovelace was developing a concept of 'Poetical Science', in which scientific logic would be driven by imagination, 'the Discovering faculty, pre-eminently. It is that which penetrates into the unseen worlds around us, the worlds of science.' She saw mathematics metaphysically, as 'the language of the unseen relations between things;' but added that to apply it, 'we must be able to fully appreciate, to feel, to seize, the unseen, the unconscious.'

    Of course, that was when laudanum was commonly used.

    S

  • by turbinicarpus ( 4203715 ) on Friday September 04, 2015 @03:41AM (#50455937)
    Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage: together, They Fight Crime [sydneypadua.com] (for certain definitions of "crime").
    • Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage: together, They Fight Crime (for certain definitions of "crime").

      I am confused and yet intrigued at the same time. What the heck am I looking at?

  • Inevitable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Friday September 04, 2015 @07:11AM (#50456263) Journal

    Who would have predicted that a Slashdot story that mentions a woman from the 19th century would inevitably whining comments about feminism and dicksucking jokes?

    You guys are just the best.

  • That I never see Ada Lovelace's name alone.... It is always that she is some guy's daughter.

    Don't her achievements allow her to stand alone in history?

    Does she always have to be tied to some dude to give her legitimacy?

    • by ameoba ( 173803 )

      She's really more of an interesting footnote than an influential figure in computer programming and is largely unknown outside of computing circles.

      Her father, OTOH, is one of the best known authors in the English language.

  • At first I though "WTF is Slashdot talking about a porn actress's legacy", then I realized: ADA Lovelace, not LINDA Lovelace.

    *Totally* different legacy, although the quote still works:
      "...that Enchantress who has thrown her magical spell around the most abstract of Sciences and has grasped it with a force that few masculine intellects (in our own country at least) could have exerted over it..."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Admittedly Ada Lovelace is a role model for anyone (especially women), but it was interesting to read the article and find that her mother, Lady Annabelle Byron, was gifted in geometry and know as the "Princess of Parallelograms." I think that's a message to everyone, especially mothers, as to just how strong a positive role model can influence a child. Maybe this is a realization that if we want more women in IT, it's women that have to step up and convince their daughters that mathematics aren't solel

  • because role models matter
  • Fuck you guys. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by theghost ( 156240 ) on Friday September 04, 2015 @12:31PM (#50458061)

    First post: Intentionally confusing her with porn actress.
    Second post: Her dad was cool - here's some cool stuff about him!
    Third post: Meh. She didn't really do anything noteworthy.
    etc.

    Fuck you guys. Stop living up to the worst stereotypes of geeks and nerds.

    • Fuck you guys. Stop living up to the worst stereotypes of geeks and nerds.

      Now go and tune in to the other thread to see how the very same slashdotters will tell us that sexism is dead and actually women have it better anyway and maybe they just don't want to go into tech.

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