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Ada Byron

Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace, was a British mathematician who lived between 1815-1852. She was a major influence in computer programming. Computer programming is essential for building space shuttles and satellites and in analyzing scientific data.

Byron published "Sketch of the Analytical Engine" which discussed Charles Babbage's analytical engine (later to be known as the first computer). Her work was based on the writings of the Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea, and meetings with Babbage himself.

Byron designed the "punch-card" program which was a program that gave instructions to a computer. She also created the computer law known as GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out). This law basically states that a computer can use only what is put into it. In other words, a computer cannot have a mind of its own.

Because of Byron's pioneering efforts in the computer era, the U.S. Department of Defense named a computer programming language (ADA) after her in 1977.


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