Today Dr. Wagstaff reminded the class to make sure and use MLA or APA format when citing anything.
We started the class with a discussion of whether or not Charles Babbage a success or a failure. Although he did not succeed in building the complete Difference Engine or any of the Analytical Engine, there was a general consensus that Babbage was not a failure. He was mostly successful and had great ideas for the time period. Also, he was constrained by the times.
We next started talking about Ada Lovelace. She was christened Augusta Ada Byron. She later became Augusta Ada King after marrying Lord William King, and then a couple of years later turned into the Countess of Lovelace when Lord King became Count Lovelace. Her mother was Annabella Byron and her father was Lord Byron, a romantic poet. Annabella wanted Ada to have an education just like she had. Ada was very intellectual and liked to learn. She was lucky to get a good education in that time period. She met Babbage at a soiree at his house when she was 17. They became fast friends regardless of the age difference between them.
Ada was doing a lot of translation of Menabrea’s paper on the Analytical Engine and then wrote her Notes. Her Notes were added commentary and analysis along with the translation. At one point, there was disagreement between them where Babbage thought that she should cancel the Translation and the Notes and just write her own paper. Babbage was offended that she did not agree and that she did not attach his “rant” to the publication. She realized that the rant would “detract from the main point of the article.” Ada wanted to also include the Bernoulli Numbers as a concrete example for how the Analytical Engine would work. She was one of the first people to recognize a conditional example. In her personal life, she had three children. She was disappointed that her husband was not an intellectual but he provided her with a comfortable life. Count Lovelace was okay with all the time she spent with Babbage and with her work on the Notes and mathematical equations.
After talking about Ada Lovelace, we created a diagram of the different inventions and of their influence on each other. For example Multiplication influenced both the Pascaline and the Napier’s Rods, both of which influenced the Calculating Clock.