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Born December 10, 1815 with the name Augusta Ada Byron, she was the only legitimate child of the poet Lord Byron and his wife, Anne Isabella Milbanke. Lord Byron and Anne Milbanke separated shortly after Ada was born. Ada's mother pushed her toward mathematics in an attempt to defeat the poetic passions of Ada's father.
This backing in mathematics helped Ada establish a friendship with Charles Babbage in 1833. Her full influence on his work is not known, but in 1842 she translated the work of Louis Menabrea, an Italian mathematician, and created additional notes of her own to accompany this work. In these notes, Ada not only anticipated the general purpose computer, but she also wrote a program for calculating Bernoulli numbers using the Analytical Engine.
Ada became the Countess of Lovelace when her husband, William King, inherited the Earldom of Lovelace. Her work as a programmer was not widely known but has since been commemorated in many ways. In 1977, the U.S. Department of Defense named a computer language in her honor.