The name Ada can be found across our website, our emails and ever our selection algorithm. But who is the real Ada?
Ada is a reference to Ada Lovelace aka the world’s first programmer. She was born in 1815 to an aristocratic family in London. She never knew her father personally but her mother was a well heeled society girl. As a result she lived a largely privileged life, rubbing shoulders with the upper echelons of society.
As part of the aristocratic circles of the UK she received something that most young girls of the time didn’t: an education. Said education was broad enough to include not only academic subjects but also travelling. One of her favourite subjects was maths and she had the privilege of being taught by Augustus De Morgan himself who happened to be the first professor of mathematics at the University of London. She spent her time honing her maths skills until she met Charles Babbage.
Babbage was a catalyst for the rest of Ada’s life. His work on the Analytical Engine was what focused Ada’s work around what was later to be known as the first attempt in programming.
Her life was unfortunately cut short before she was able to see her completion of her work and Babbage himself never managed to progress his work significantly without her.
Ada Lovelace may be a controversial figure for some historians who doubt her contribution in the fields of mathematics and programming. There is no doubt, however, that had she not been failed by her health so early she would have managed to help Babbage bring more of his work to life.
After her death her work was largely forgotten due to her family’s efforts to gather and destroy her notes. Her work was, however, resurfaced in the 20th century when programming started becoming a subject of study for more prominent scholars such as Alan Turing.
Had she not been failed by her health so early she would have managed to help Babbage bring more of his work to life.
Things you might not have known about Ada Lovelace:
There is quite a lot of literature around Ada Lovelace nowadays. We have collected a few facts that would require the reader to do some digging into her life.
- To the wider public Ada might not be the most famous member of her immediate family. In fact, her own father was an infamous poet known around the world as Lord Byron. His life was shrouded in intrigue and he was rumored to be living a rockstar lifestyle whilst in the UK. Incredibly, he later became an outstanding figure of the Greek Revolution of the 1820’s leading armies against the Ottoman empire, where he died. His poetry is still being taught in Greek schools as part of the curriculum
- She unfortunately died quite young at the age of 36, possibly from cervical cancer. Out of some weird coincidence her father had also died exactly at the same age. Contrary to her own mother’s wishes she made provisions to be buried close to him in the family plot
- Ada was part of the high society of her day, well known for participating in partis and ceremonies. However, she was only widely recognised as a mathematician and programmer long after her death
- Turing was one of the most prominent scholars to take inspiration from Ada Lovelace’s work. He apparently read her Notes and she became a crucial part of his 1950 Turing Test Paper. The famous Lady Lovelace’s Objection was mentioned by Turing as a way to establish that computers were not capable of original computation. This essentially means that machines can only produce what they have already programmed by a human to produce
- Since resurfaced by Turing Ada’s name started gathering more publicity and by the 1980s, the US Department of Defense had named an emerging programming language after her.
For more details on Ada Lovelace’s notes, there is an excellent piece on Wired which provides a well crafted assessment of her work. Its written by Stephen Wolfram who is clearly someone with an outstanding grasp on math and technology and provides for a great window into her life.
Ada and Adadot
Ada is quite an important figure for us here at Adadot. In fact if you are reading this you have most likely come across her at least once on the website.
Ada is the name for all the machine based technology that runs across our product. From the website chatbot who can answer questions on the spot, to the customer service automated email sequences confirming transactions, Ada is here to help navigate the website and direct the users to the right place faster.
More importantly, Ada is the data model that underpins Adadot and helps us benchmark the right metrics using factors such as vertical expertise, years of experience, work and collaboration pattern.
Ada’s work and life reflects our core values of Simplicity, Excellence and Trust. Simplicity stems from the way she approached complex mathematical problems aiming to infuse some structure in Babbage’s workings. Excellence refers to the dedication with which she approached her Notes. The detail in which she captured the logic of each statement is what allows us today to piece together her contribution despite a few of the documents not having survived over the years. Her relationship with Babbage was largely built on trust. She was a person who was able to inspire trust and build lifelong connections to the ones around her, a skill few people are blessed with.