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
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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