Ada
Lovelace

1843
manuscript on mathematical possibilities of Charles Babbage's proposed

"Analytical
Engine" -- a plan for a digital computer.

1) Recovered
feminist ancestor -- over-estimates achievements; obscures her thinking.

2) Appropriated
by the military -- "Ada" is a computer language developed
specifically for the defense industry

3) Her
presence in computer science texts serves “equal opportunities” rhetoric.

Lovelace's
mother worried: inheritance of notorious sexual proclivities of her father,
Lord Byron.

Her
childhood: strictly prescribed educational activities, forced to lie still with
bags over

Rebellion
via attempted elopement fails, agrees to mathematical instruction as a cure for
her sinful impulses.

Meets
Babbage’s “Silver Lady;” he gets PR for $$ and she gets social life.

Excitement
and opium result in description in terms of magical imagery:

Mechanisms
of symbol manipulation were "mathematical sprites,"

Babbage
was advised to allow himself to be "unresistingly bewitched" by

"the
High Priestess of Baggage's Engine."

Babbage
writes most of the programming except recursive program ("a cycle of a
cycle") for calculating Bernoulli numbers. But his account is the opposite.

Why
the falsehood? Perhaps due to relation of recursion and sexual reproduction.
From feminist perspective, also interesting that she makes the connection to
weaving (Campbell-Kelly pg 57).

Lovelace's
famous philosophical statement on the inability of computers to produce
creative thought: reassurance about job security to the upper class.

Later
interest in biology and medicine: duplicate the mathematical studies of
electrical circuits, model flow of "animal magnetism" in biological
tissue. Mesmerism, occult, and health connections.

Ada’s
friend John Crosse: inspired her interests in both science and gambling. Movie “Conceiving
Ada” introduces Crosse (played by John Perry Barlow) as a cryptographer, and
claims that she and Crosse were attempting to use mathematical models in their
gambling.