Ada Lovelace and the Thinking Machine

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine by Laurie Wallmark Hardcover

  • $14.40


Ada Byron Lovelace, the daughter of the famous romantic poet, Lord Byron, develops her creativity through science and math. When she meets Charles Babbage, the inventor of the first mechanical computer, Ada understands the machine better than anyone else and writes the world's first computer program in order to demonstrate its capabilities.

Publishers Weekly
★ 10/12/2015
Wallmark makes her children's book debut with an inspiring and informative account of 19th-century mathematician Lovelace, who is considered to be the world's first computer programmer. Lovelace's mathematical passions are evident from the first pages, as Chu shows the infant in a bassinet, reaching for a mobile of stars and numbers (she's adjoined by her mother, whose own interests earned her the nickname "The Princess of Parallelograms," and her father, poet Lord Byron). Wallmark moves swiftly through Lovelace's life, facing obstacles that included a bout of measles that temporarily left her blind and paralyzed, as well as societal attitudes toward women in the sciences. Lovelace found a kindred spirit in inventor Charles Babbage, eventually creating "the world's first computer program" for his Analytical Machine. Chu brings the same grace and precision to this book as she did to In a Village by the Sea, and her finely detailed pencilwork is ideally suited to the schematics, blueprints, and mechanical implements that surround Lovelace and Babbage as they work, not to mention the stately apparel and architecture of their Victorian surroundings. Ages 5–up. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
What a fascinating story! This vividly-written, gorgeously illustrated picture book biography brings to life the personality and amazing accomplishments of the astonishing 19th century female mathematician who conceived of the idea of computer programming long before there were even computers and is literally the "mother of computer science." I can't wait to share it with my students!
— Carol Simon Levin, Youth Services Librarian and Historical Impersonator of "Fascinating Women History Forgot"

"I've been an admirer of Ada Byron Lovelace for years and a book that introduces her to young readers is long overdue. While women are tragically underrepresented in computer science today, the true pioneer of the field was Ada, whose mastery of numbers and determination led to her making a permanent mark. Let's hope that this wonderful book not only delights, but inspires many girls to pursue Ada's ideals."
— Steven Levy, author of Hackers

"The story of Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine is a page-turner and will appeal to children, adults, scientists, and non-scientists alike. This book begins to fill the gap in the literature about girls and women in mathematics and computer science. The harmony of thorough research, beautifully written prose, portrayal of theory, practice, romanticism, and passion that accompany the creation of a complex scientific invention were wonderfully woven together, just like the mechanics of the "Thinking Machine" itself. I was reminded of the excitement of becoming a mathematician!”
— Ellen Gethner, professor of computer science and mathematics at the University of Colorado Denver