Feminist Frequency’s Ordinary Women Series Concludes With the Mother of Computer Programming, Ada Lovelace

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Feminist Frequency concludes Ordinary Women, their five-part video series on historical women who defied the limitations of their times, with the story of the woman widely acknowledged to have created the first computer program, Ada Lovelace.

The video takes you through her scandalous childhood (her mother left her father, the playboy poet Lord Byron, taking Ada with her!), her rare education, and her long friendship, mentorship (and possible romantic relationship??) with Charles Babbage, with whom she worked on his Analytical Engine (the first computer), creating the first program for it while translating his academic paper on it from English to French, adding her own notes, theories, and observations to it in the process, and tripling its length, making it one of the most important documents in computer history.


So, enjoy watching the story of the mother of computer programming on this here fine computer or smartphone that you might not even have were it not for her. I’m sure she says, “You’re welcome.”

Feminist Frequency called this “Season 1” of Ordinary Women, which says to me that we may have more videos like this down the line! What historical women do you think deserve to be captured in a video portrait like this? Shout out your favorite “Ordinary Women” below!

(featured image via screencap)

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.