Ada’s Algorithm: How Lord Byron’s Daughter Ada Lovelace Launched the Digital Age

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Some consider her the mother of modern computing, and those who don’t should get on board, because without Ada Lovelace’s contributions to Charles Babbage’s work on the Analytical Engine–essentially writing the first computer program–we’d be missing a crucial step in the advancement of computer technology.

Ada’s Algorithm is a worthy tribute to an under-appreciated icon in computing and mathematics. It goes so far as to correct some of the more misogynistic historical attempts to assign Lovelace’s credit and hard work to Babbage. Although the book spends too much time ruminating on the possible influence Lord Byron had on his daughter–despite how little contact they had–it is a worthy glimpse into the argument of nature versus nurture, and how each might have contributed to the brilliance of a young woman who saw so much potential in one man’s (possibly) mad science.

Essinger does an exceptional job of analyzing Babbage’s writing as well as Lovelace’s, and strips the presumptions of previous biographers, culling as much from their actual words as possible. Ada’s Algorithm is as close as we’ll get to an biography penned by the woman herself.


Reviewed By:

Author James Essinger
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 272 pages
Publisher Melville House
Publish Date 2014-Oct-14
ISBN 9781612194080
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2015
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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