Today is International Friendship Day and we’re celebrating a friendship that led to some super-important scientific developments!
The amazing Ada Lovelace was born in London in 1815, and loved maths and poetry from a young age. When she was a teenager, she met a mathematician and inventor called Charles Babbage. Charles was fed up of doing long calculations by hand, so he invented a machine that could do sums for him. He called it the Difference Engine.
Ada was really interested in the Difference Engine. She was inspired to study maths harder than ever before, and she and Charles became good friends.
Charles later invented a machine, called the Analytical Engine, that could do ANY calculations by following a series of steps – but it was so complicated that he found it hard to explain to other people how it would work!
Ada came to the rescue. She was so good at maths that she understood the machine and was able to explain it to other people. Ada wrote a code that turned a real-life maths problem into a list of instructions that the machine could understand. This was the world’s first algorithm (computer code).
She and Charles made a great team! Sadly, Ada died before she could actually help Charles to get the machine made, but the discovery that machines could follow instructions led to the amazing computers that we all use so much today.
Find out more about this fantastic friendship and the science of coding in Whizz Pop Bang: CODING CAPERS!