COMPELLING STORY OF ADA 2
Ada was an English writer and mathematician who is known for her early work on the
Analytical Engine (Sklar & Sklar, 2012). She is credited with creating the first algorithm that
was used by a machine and hence regarded as the pioneer computer programmer. Ada was
rejected by the dad immediately she was born because he had expected a boy, a move that saw
the parents separate when Ada was only one month old. Ada’s father did not want to be
associated with her and by the time he was dying eight years later; the mother was the significant
parental figure in Ada’s life.
Ada’s mother did not have a close relationship with her as she often left her under the
care of her grandmother, Judith. Annabella wrote letters to Ada to show her parental concern
although the truth of the matter is that she was not concerned with the welfare of the daughter. In
one of the letters, she referred to her daughter as “it,” while telling her Judith to talk to her for
her satisfaction (Sklar & Sklar, 2012).
Ada was sickly as a child and had her vision obscured when she was eight years old as a
result of headaches. She was paralyzed in 1829 after she contracted measles which made the
healthcare workers give her a bed rest for one year. She was able to walk two years later with the
help of the crutches; despite being sickly and disabled, she was able to develop technological and
mathematical skills (Sklar & Sklar, 2012). At twelve years, she wanted to fly, which made her
think about the project thoughtfully and methodically. She began by constructing wings and had
to consider various materials like feathers, wires, and paper. She had to determine the right
proportion between the body and wings she analyzed the anatomy of the birds. She later wrote a
book that was titled Flyology that detailed her findings. What stood out in her is that she was a
critical thinker, problem solver since her childhood.
COMPELLING STORY OF ADA 3
Sklar, J. K., & Sklar, E. S. (2012). Mathematics in popular culture: Essays on appearances in
film, fiction, games, television and other media. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland.