Ada's Legacy

Cultures of Computing from the Victorian to the Digital Age

Robin Hammerman, Andrew L. Russell
ISBN: 9781970001488 | PDF ISBN: 9781970001495
Hardcover ISBN:9781970001518
Copyright © 2015 | 214 Pages | Publication Date: October, 2015

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Published by the Association for Computing Machinery and Morgan & Claypool.

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Ada's Legacy illustrates the depth and diversity of writers, thinkers, and makers who have been inspired by Ada Lovelace, the English mathematician and writer. The volume, which commemorates the bicentennial of Ada's birth in December 1815, celebrates Lovelace's many achievements as well as the impact of her life and work, which reverberated widely since the late nineteenth century. In the 21st century we have seen a resurgence in Lovelace scholarship, thanks to the growth of interdisciplinary thinking and the expanding influence of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Ada's Legacy is a unique contribution to this scholarship, thanks to its combination of papers on Ada's collaboration with Charles Babbage, Ada's position in the Victorian and Steampunk literary genres, Ada's representation in and inspiration of contemporary art and comics, and Ada's continued relevance in discussions around gender and technology in the digital age.

With the 200th anniversary of Ada Lovelace's birth on December 10, 2015, we believe that the timing is perfect to publish this collection of papers. Because of its broad focus on subjects that reach far beyond the life and work of Ada herself, Ada's Legacy will appeal to readers who are curious about Ada's enduring importance in computing and the wider world.

Table of Contents

Ada's Legacy in Computing
Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, and the Bernoulli Numbers
Sketch of the Analytical Engine Invented by Charles Babbage
Ada: Past, Present, Future
The Ada Programming Language
The Rise, Fall, and Persistence of Ada
Ada Lovelace's Poetical Science in its Literary Context
Ada Lovelace in History and Steampunk
Steampunk Representations of the Enchantress of Numbers
Oracle: The Engine Weaves
Genderless Online Discourse in the 1970s
Rebooting the Ada Lovelace Mythos

About the Author(s)

Robin Hammerman, Stevens Institute of Technology
Robin Hammerman is Teaching Assistant Professor in the College of Arts and Letters at Stevens Institute of Technology. Her research and teaching interest in Ada Lovelace began during the first years of her service to the Byron Society of America as Director of Membership and Academic Services as well as when she began teaching courses to engineering students at Stevens such as Science Fiction and Literature, Science and Technology. Hammerman's ongoing commitment to promote interdisciplinary engagement among women in STEM fields inspired her to organize the first international conference on the legacy of Ada Lovelace in October 2013.

Andrew L. Russell, Stevens Institute of Technology
Andrew L. Russell is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Program in Science & Technology Studies in the College of Arts & Letters at Stevens Institute of Technology. He is the author of Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks (Cambridge
University Press, 2014) and has published over a dozen articles and book chapters on the history of the Bell System, the American system of voluntary standards, modular design, and the computer networks such as Cyclades and the Internet. Russell currently serves as the Chair of SIGCIS, an international collective of historians of computing and information.


"Ada's Legacy is an original and valuable contribution to the commemoration of the bicentennial (of her birth). In summary, the twelve chapters in the volume Ada's Legacy illustrate key aspects which span from science to technology, literature and includes collaboration, feminism, technical excellence, creativity, and controversy. The topics covered in the book are indeed a large variety, so it is possible that Ada’s Legacydoesn’t hold the interest of each reader uniformly from the beginning to the end, but each reader will find chapters that allow him/her to deepen aspects of the complex phenomenon of Ada."
Luigia Carlucci Aiello - in Artificial Intelligence (Elsevier)

Reviews (1)

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