Ada Lovelace

It's Ada Lovelace Day, a day celebrating the achievements of the Countess of Lovelace, a woman who might be considered the Grandmother of Computer Programming. Yes, Ada was a female programmer before it was cool.

Lovelace was born to troubled British poet Lord Byron and Anne Isabella Milbanke in 1815. Cast off by both her parents, she was raised by her grandmother, Judith, Hon. Lady Milbanke.

She met Charles Babbage through their mutual friend Mary Somerville, another significant female figure in science and technology. Babbage was impressed with Lovelace's intellect and analytical prowess and invited her to help him work on the machine. He said of her, "Forget this world and all its troubles, and if possible its multitudinous Charlatans -- everything in short but the Enchantress of Number."

The Enchantress of Number's legacy lives on, breaking down barriers for women in math, science, and technology.

The second Tuesday of October -- a date chosen randomly to provide her with the appropriate recognition -- is Ada Lovelace Day.

Babbage's Analytical Engine