ADA Lovelace: The Making of a Computer Scientist

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Bodleian Library
Publish Date
6.4 X 0.8 X 8.3 inches | 0.97 pounds
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About the Author

Christopher Hollings is departmental lecturer in the Oxford Mathematical Institute, and a senior research fellow of the Queen's College, Oxford. Ursula Martin is a professor at the University of Oxford whose research interests span mathematics, computer science, and the humanities. Adrian Rice is professor of mathematics at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia.


"It's so easy, given our current desire to turn Lovelace into a poster girl for women in science, to lose sight of the exact flavour of her talent. Christopher Hollins et al. conclude that, while she was a promising mathematician, her particular genius lay in her ability to make imaginative leaps between parts of the mathematical universe that were, according to her pleased observation, 'seldom or never brought into juxtaposition.'" --Guardian
"In Ada Lovelace: The Making of a Computer Scientist, the authors give a splendidly crisp, clear description of her education, explaining the vogue for mathematics against the background of nineteenth-century concerns with industry, steam, navigation, and statistics. This short book is also enlivened by superb illustrations. To see Ada's careful penmanship as she asks increasingly difficult questions somehow makes abstract calculations human and equations suddenly exciting. That intimate enjoyment is clearer still from the scrap of paper that records her and the mathematician Charles Babbage playing with mathematical puzzles: he draws diagrams in a scratchy pen, while she leans over and adds to them in pencil. Dusty archives dance into life."--New York Review of Books
"This richly illustrated biography introduces Ada Lovelace to a general readership. . . . One of its special contributions to the Lovelace literature is the emphasis on her education from early childhood through tutoring under Augustus De Morgan. This new detail is enhanced by many color reproductions of her notes and letters showing progress through algebra and geometry and other scientific topics."--Mathematical Reviews