Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer
Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer
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Annotation: Presents an illuminating biography of Ada Lovelace, the brilliant daughter of Lord Byron, Britain's most infamous Romantic poet, who is now recognized as a pioneer and prophet of the information age for her ideas and concepts, formulated in collaboration with inventor Charles Babbage, that presaged computer programming by almost 200 years.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #175012
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: xi, 164 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-7636-9356-1
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-9356-5
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 2018961266
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Interest in Ada Byron Lovelace and other female pioneers of science has soared of late. This young adult biography is a particularly exemplary example of the burgeoning genre and should find a home in all libraries. Caldecott medalist McCully is careful to show Lovelace as a complex, and sometimes troubled, child, teen, and woman whose love of math was as passionate as love of poetry was to her famous father, the Romantic poet Lord Byron. While Lovelace's mother, a controlling figure who reviled Lord Byron, was rather distant, she did cultivate her daughter's intellect. She also introduced Lovelace to Charles Babbage, a well-known figure in England who was developing a protocomputer called the Analytical Engine. It was Lovelace who foresaw its implications and who ultimately wrote "code" for its use. While her life was tragically short, she is now generally acknowledged as "the first computer programmer." McCully's work is eminently readable, with short chapters and lavish illustrations. It also includes meaty appendixes and source notes for teen scholars. A worthy addition to biography bookshelves.
Horn Book
Ada Byron Lovelace followed nineteenth-century conventions by marrying and bearing children yet still pursued scientific interests. Her friend Charles Babbage produced a mechanical tabulation machine, which Lovelace defined as a computer prototype; her resulting algorithm is often considered the first computer program. McCully clearly and systematically outlines mathematical concepts while painting Lovelace's life as one characterized both by spurts of brilliance and many challenges. Archival illustrations and photographs appear throughout. Bib., glos., ind.
Kirkus Reviews
A biography of Ada Lovelace, widely celebrated as the first computer programmer.McCully juxtaposes the analytical genius of her subject with her humanizing flaws and personality, painting a portrait of a turbulent soul and a visionary intellect whose promise was cut short by early death. After the acrimonious end of Lord and Lady Byron's relationship, the intelligent Lady Byron sought to distance Ada from both her father himself and his unstable tendencies by giving her a challenging education focused on rational pursuits, math, and science. Lady Byron's portrayal is complex—she's cold and self-centered but determined to provide academic opportunities for her daughter. The book follows Ada's education with her marriage and death from uterine cancer, but both the book and Ada focus on her collaborator, Charles Babbage. A temporary textual shift to focus on Babbage provides necessary context, establishing how advanced and revolutionary Babbage's Difference Engine and Analytical Engine designs were. And yet, Ada was able to see far beyond his visions, conceptualizing the potential of modern computers and predicting such programming techniques like loops. McCully demonstrates that although Ada had the potential to achieve more, she was hampered by sexism, ill health, and a temperament akin to her father's. Appendices summarize Lovelace's notes on the Analytical Engine and present the British Association for the Advancement of Science's rationale for refusing to support its construction.A sophisticated yet accessible piece that humanizes a tragic, brilliant dreamer. (source notes, glossary, bibliography, index [not seen]) (Biography. 10-14)
Publishers Weekly
McCully (She Did It!) dramatically details the life of Augusta Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), the person first credited with understanding a computer-s potential beyond mathematical calculation. Lovelace-s father was the poet Lord Byron, and her childhood was framed by her principled, domineering mother-s determination to eradicate all traces of his paternity. Privately tutored in mathematics to ward off any poetical instincts, Lovelace thrived intellectually even as she endured physical ill-health and her mother-s emotional coldness. Her introduction at age 17 to her future mentor and collaborator Charles Babbage, inventor of the earliest computer prototypes, changed her life, offering intellectual food and challenge. McCully proceeds with clear explanations of Lovelace-s intellectual activities-in particular, Note G, in which Lovelace proposes an algorithm considered to be the first for a computer-while blending a largely sympathetic view of her personal life: marriage, offspring, gambling and other addictions, and early death from uterine cancer. Archival photos and illustrations, appendices, source notes, a glossary, and a bibliography deepen the portrait of this singular figure whose impact on science and technology has long been understated. Ages 10-14. (Mar.)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (3/1/19)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (8/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Word Count: 21,456
Reading Level: 8.3
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 8.3 / points: 4.0 / quiz: 502363 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:10.5 / points:8.0 / quiz:Q76737
Lexile: 1110L
Guided Reading Level: Q

This illuminating biography reveals how the daughter of Lord Byron, Britain’s most infamous Romantic poet, became the world’s first computer programmer.

Even by 1800s standards, Ada Byron Lovelace had an unusual upbringing. Her strict mother worked hard at cultivating her own role as the long-suffering ex-wife of bad-boy poet Lord Byron while raising Ada in isolation. Tutored by the brightest minds, Ada developed a hunger for mental puzzles, mathematical conundrums, and scientific discovery that kept pace with the breathtaking advances of the industrial and social revolutions taking place in Europe. At seventeen, Ada met eccentric inventor Charles Babbage, a kindred spirit. Their ensuing collaborations resulted in ideas and concepts that presaged computer programming by almost two hundred years, and Ada Lovelace is now recognized as a pioneer and prophet of the information age. Award-winning author Emily Arnold McCully opens the window on a peculiar and singular intellect, shaped — and hampered — by history, social norms, and family dysfunction. The result is a portrait that is at once remarkable and fascinating, tragic and triumphant.

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