timeline

born 1815

Ada Lovelace is known for being the author of the first computer program ~ a scientist ahead of her time. Married young and unhappily to a man 10 years her senior, Ada remained faithful to her mathematical studies even in domesticity, striking up chummy friendships with scientific luminaries like Michael Faraday and Andrew Crosse in the process.

Never downplaying her intellect {"That brain of mine is something more than merely mortal"}, Ada would be delighted to be the patron saint of women in STEM. Today, the visionary is honored with a programming language named for her. And, her own day ~ every October…the middle Tuesday.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Ada Lovelace (14)

"What is imagination?...It is a God-like, a noble faculty. It renders earth tolerable; it teaches us to live, in the tone of the eternal."

letter to Charles Babbage | january 1841

"Imagination is the Discovering Faculty, pre-eminently. It is that which penetrates into the unseen worlds around us, the worlds of Science. It is that which feels & discovers what is, the real which we see not, which exists not for our senses."

letter to Charles Babbage | january 1841

"I do not believe that my father was (or ever could have been) such a Poet as I shall be an Analyst; (& Metaphysician); for with me the two go together indissolubly."

to Charles Babbage | unknown

"The Analytical Engine weaves algebraical patterns just as the Jacquard-loom weaves flowers and leaves."

on Menabrea's paper, Sketch of the Analytical Eng?ine Invented by Charles Babbage | october 1842

"We leave it for the decision of each individual (after he has possessed himself of competent information as to the characteristics of each engine) to determine how far it ought to be matter of regret that such an accession has been made to the powers of human science."

on Menabrea's paper, Sketch of the Analytical Engine Invented by Charles Babbage | october 1842

"I am in a charming state of confusion."

letter to Charles Babbage | 1843

"I am quite thunder-struck at the power of the writing. It is especially unlike a woman's style surely; but neither can I compare it with any man's exactly."

to Charles Babbage {quoted in Hypatia's Heritage by Margaret Alic} | monday afternoon, 1843

"What would be to me terrible, would be mind & activity impeded by health."

quoted in Ada: Enchantress of Numbers | july 1843

"Religion to me is science, and science is religion."

to neighbor-scientist Andrew Crosse | 1844

"Your best and wisest refuge from all troubles is in your science."

to neighbor-scientist Andrew Crosse {quoted in The Lady’s Friend, vol 7} | 1844

"I have lived almost entirely secluded for some time. Those who are much in earnest and with single minds devoted to any great object in life, must find this occasionally inevitable."

to neighbor-scientist Andrew Crosse {quoted in The Lady’s Friend, vol 7} | 1844

"I must be at work again, I have been too idle lately. It never does for me to repose upon existence, or to have time for remembering myself & feelings. That is a fact."

quoted in Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers by Betty A. Toole | february 1845

"Certainly my troops must consist of numbers, or they can have no existence at all."

to Lady Byron {her mother} | october 1851

"If I had a little less brains, I should & would be a good Catholic, & cling to that certainty which I do long for. However I don't wish to be without my brains, tho' they doubtless interfere with a blind faith which would be very comfortable."

to her mother {quoted in Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers by Betty A. Toole} | 1852
  • Quotabelle profile
  • Ada Lovelace

curated with care by Meghan Miller Brawley {october 2014}