The Birth Of Computer Programming Essay Research — страница 2

  • Просмотров 157
  • Скачиваний 5
  • Размер файла 17

Lovelace?s work was performed through letters, and personal contact fell to a minimum. The restrictions of the time for women required her to have an escort before she was married, and that left her mathematical knowledge to be gathered in the only discrete way possible: written communication. While growing up, Lovelace had countless tutors and governesses, with whom she maintained contact most of her life. One of her tutors, Dr. William King, who was not at all fond of mathematics, was instructed to ?operate? on Lovelace?s thirteen-year-old brain. After his services were no longer needed, Lovelace continued contact with Dr. King by way of letters, which proposed mathematical problems and equations. She searched for more in-depth mathematical knowledge that Dr. King did not

possess as may be seen in one of his letters, ?You will soon puzzle me in your studies,? he wrote (Baum 28). She read any mathematical books that she could find including Dionysius Lardner?s Euclid and Vince?s Plane and Spherical Trigonometry. Another of her tutor?s had been William Frend, who introduced to her yet another of her tutors, Augustus De Morgan, a famous knowledgeable mathematician and the husband of Frend?s daughter Sophia. Both Frend and De Morgan were Lovelace?s consultants throughout her work with Babbage on his Analytical Engine, a machine that would use punch-cards to calculate higher degrees of polynomials with ease and accuracy. She posed questions to them on mathematics that women otherwise were thought not to be able to understand, many of which they did

not. De Morgan is quoted for writing that Lovelace ?would have been ?an original mathematical investigator, perhaps of first-rate eminence? but not, he suggested, if she had gone to the university (had it admitted women then), where the system would have demanded sacrifice of originality? (Baum 20). Her search for more knowledge in mathematics is what led to her amazing discoveries of how to make the Analytical Machine calculate problems and return accurate answers for everyone to see. Lady Lovelace?s father, Lord Byron, was a poet who is still celebrated today. He had a skill with words that was passed on to his unknowing daughter. The evidence in her control over the written word was found when she translated Luigi Ferdico Menabrea?s ?sketch? of Babbage’s Analytical Engine,

written from the material he received in a lecture on the Analytical Engine given by Babbage. The piece was published for everyone to read, but it was written in French. Lovelace and Babbage saw then the need to publish an English version of the article, which Lovelace eagerly took as her chance to work with Babbage. Her knowledge of French was great, and she translated the piece with ease, but she became engrossed in the project, adding more details about the machine than the original article had. As work progressed, Lovelace began calling the new draft of how the Analytical Engine would work her unborn ?child? or her ?uncommonly fine baby.? She claimed that her child would ?become a ?man of the first magnitude and power?? (Baum 67). Her devotion to the project provided her with

the opportunity to ignore her physical ailments, but to such a great extent that she became sickly for the rest of her life. Also, she ignored her family and her womanly chores in order to achieve the highest quality work she could. Her husband, Lord William King, Earl of Lovelace, actually encouraged her to work with Babbage and ignored her failure to take care of her family. The ?uncommonly fine baby? was the beginning and end of Lovelace?s mathematical ?professional,? as she called her faith in mathematics in a letter written to Woronzow Greig, son of Mary Somerville. She poured her heart into her translation and into her ?Notes,? which were bits of information that expanded on the reliability, need, and usefulness of the Analytical Engine and which were added to the

translation for more detail. She spent countless hours having Babbage check and recheck her work, and in the end, she came up with a piece worthy of publication. The only problem was whether or not she should sign her masterpiece. As a woman, her ?child? would have not been taken seriously and would have been looked at disapprovingly. This is evident in the reaction of the Edinburghi editors to an anonymous piece called Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. The book was considered to have been written in a very feminine style and lacked knowledge. The editors speculated that the author was a female and concluded that it had the ?trac[ing] therein the markings of a woman?s foot? (Baum 63). The author was later discovered to be one Robert Chambers to whom the editors greatly