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Ada Byron's notes on the analytical engine: Wikis

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Ada Byron's notes on the analytical engine are a description and associated documents produced by Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, (born Ada Byron) on Charles Babbage's design for a mechanical computer called the analytical engine. It was never built, but Ada's notes are widely recognized as containing the first ever computer program.

History

In 1842 Charles Babbage was invited to give a seminar at the University of Turin about his analytical engine. Luigi Menabrea, a young Italian engineer, and future prime minister of Italy, wrote up Babbage's lecture in French, and this transcript was subsequently published in the Bibliothèque Universelle de Genève in October 1842.

Babbage asked Ada Lovelace to translate Menabrea's paper into English, subsequently requesting that she augment the notes she had added to the translation. Ada spent most of a year doing this. These notes, which are more extensive than Menabrea's paper, were then published in The Ladies Diary and Taylor's Scientific Memoirs under the initialism "A.A.L.".

Content

Her notes were labeled alphabetically from A to G. Note G is the longest of the seven. In note G, Ada describes an algorithm for the analytical engine to compute Bernoulli numbers. It is generally considered the first algorithm ever specifically tailored for implementation on a computer, and for this reason she is considered by many to be the first computer programmer.

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