Ada: A Life And A Legacy (History of Computing)

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9780262691161: Ada: A Life And A Legacy (History of Computing)
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Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace, was the daughter of Lord Byron and a close friend to many of the leading figures of the Victorian era; based on her report on Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine she is also generally known as the inventor of the science of computer programming. In this engrossing biography, Dorothy Stein strips away the many layers of myth to reveal a story far more dramatic and fascinating than previous accounts have indicated.

Dorothy Stein is a psychologist with a special interest in thought and language and a background in physics and computer programming. She has taught courses in nineteenth-century women's history and in the biology and psychology of sex differences, and is particularly concerned with the use of myth in science.

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Dorothy Stein is a psychologist with a special interest in thought and language and a background in physics and computer programming. She has taught courses in nineteenth-century women's history and in the biology and psychology of sex differences, and is particularly concerned with the use of myth in science.

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Augusta Ada Bryon, Countess of Lovelace, the only legitimate daughter of poet Lord Byron, never quite emerges alive from under the letters, memoirs and documents Stein investigates and interprets. A major portion of the book concentrates on Ada's scientific endeavorsfrom her report on Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine (considered the first computer) to her studies in mathematics, electrical current and magnetismand readers who are not scientifically inclined may find the material difficult. Pointing to the vagueness and tentativeness with which Ada questioned Babbage in her letters, Stein breaks the myth of Ada's genius. It is her questing spirit which we should admire, Stein, a psychologist, believes, and so we do, while cringing at Ada's delusionsshe saw herself as on a mission from Heaven. Ada's life was indeed Byronic, the most interesting parts still shrouded in mystery: brought up by an overbearing mother, she tried to run away with her tutor; married and had three children; studied not only mathematics but also music and wrote poetry; had an affair we know nothing about; and gambled obsessively as a gesture of the resentment she felt against both parents, or so the author argues. She suffered from several ills throughout her life, from gastritis to mania to the cancer which killed her, and she left only a small body of work behind. If anyone comes to life in these pages it is Lady Byron, who paraded her martyrdom with her poet husband and her perfection as a mother. November
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780262192422: Ada: A Life and a Legacy (Mit Press Series in the History of Computing)

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ISBN 10:  026219242X ISBN 13:  9780262192422
Publisher: Mit Pr, 1985
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