Melvyn Bragg explores the life and achievements of Ada Lovelace, daughter of Byron and prophet of the computer age. With him to discuss the "enchantress of numbers" are Patricia Fara, Fellow of Clare College and an Affiliated Lecturer in the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University; Doron Swade, Visiting Professor in the History of Computing at Portsmouth University and John Fuegi, Research Fellow in Media and Gender Studies at the Universities of Stanford and Maryland.
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Charles Babbage, the man whom many consider to be the father of modern computing, never got to complete any of his life’s work. The Victorian gentleman was a brilliant mathematician, but he wasn’t very good at politics and fundraising, so he never got the financial backing to finish any of his elaborate machine designs. For decades, even his fans weren’t certain whether his computing machines would have worked.