Ada Lovelace meets Charles Babbage: 5 June 1833

Sketch of Ada Bryon at 17

On 5 June 1833, Ada Bryon attended a party at mathematician Charles Babbage’s house. She’d been presented at court a few days earlier so it was simply part of the London season. Except Babbage invited Ada to see his prototype Difference Engine. It was the start of an intellectual friendship that resulted in Ada becoming the first theoretical computer programmer.

We know machines run algorithms now, delivering customised playlists or sorting job applications. Ada was the first person to perceive the numbers to be used in calculations could also act as symbols for other systems.

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