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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index K > Countess of Lovelace Augusta Ada King Quotes

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Countess of Lovelace Augusta Ada King
(10 Dec 1815 - 29 Nov 1852)

English mathematician.


Science Quotes by Countess of Lovelace Augusta Ada King (7 quotes)

Again, it [the Analytical Engine] might act upon other things besides number, were objects found whose mutual fundamental relations could be expressed by those of the abstract science of operations, and which should be also susceptible of adaptations to the action of the operating notation and mechanism of the engine. Supposing for instance, that the fundamental relations of pitched sounds in the science of harmony and of musical composition were susceptible of such expression and adaptations, the engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent.
— Countess of Lovelace Augusta Ada King
In Richard Taylor (ed.), 'Translator’s Notes to M. Menabrea’s Memoir', Scientific Memoirs, Selected from the Transactions of Foreign Academies and Learned Societies and from Foreign Journals (1843), 3, Note A, 694. Her notes were appended to L.F. Menabrea, of Turin, Officer of the Military Engineers, 'Article XXIX: Sketch of the Analytical Engine invented by Charles Babbage Esq.', Bibliothèque Universelle de Gnve (Oct 1842), No. 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (45)  |  Action (163)  |  Adaptation (46)  |  Analytical Engine (5)  |  Complexity (83)  |  Composition (52)  |  Elaborate (14)  |  Expression (85)  |  Extent (34)  |  Fundamental (124)  |  Harmony (59)  |  Mechanism (45)  |  Music (75)  |  Mutual (22)  |  Notation (9)  |  Number (188)  |  Object (117)  |  Operation (96)  |  Pitch (7)  |  Relation (98)  |  Science (1741)  |  Sound (70)  |  Supposing (3)  |  Susceptible (3)

I believe myself to possess a most singular combination of qualities exactly fitted to make me pre-eminently a discoverer of the hidden realities of nature… the belief has been forced upon me…
Firstly: Owing to some peculiarity in my nervous system, I have perceptions of some things, which no one else has… and intuitive perception of… things hidden from eyes, ears, & ordinary senses…
Secondly: my sense reasoning faculties;
Thirdly: my concentration faculty, by which I mean the power not only of throwing my whole energy & existence into whatever I choose, but also of bringing to bear on anyone subject or idea, a vast apparatus from all sorts of apparently irrelevant & extraneous sources…
Well, here I have written what most people would call a remarkably mad letter; & yet certainly one of the most logical, sober-minded, cool, pieces of composition, (I believe), that I ever framed.
— Countess of Lovelace Augusta Ada King
Lovelace Papers, Bodleian Library, Oxford University, 42, folio 12 (6 Feb 1841). As quoted and cited in Dorothy Stein (ed.), 'This First Child of Mine', Ada: A Life and a Legacy (1985), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Apparatus (30)  |  Autobiography (55)  |  Combination (72)  |  Concentration (14)  |  Discovery (601)  |  Ear (24)  |  Eye (190)  |  Hidden (35)  |  Intuition (41)  |  Letter (36)  |  Logic (190)  |  Nature (1081)  |  Perception (56)  |  Quality (71)  |  Reality (155)  |  Reasoning (79)  |  Sense (258)  |  Subject (133)

I want to put in something about Bernoulli’s numbers, in one of my Notes, as an example of how the implicit function may be worked out by the engine, without having been worked out by human head & hands first. Give me the necessary data & formulae.
— Countess of Lovelace Augusta Ada King
Lovelace Papers, Bodleian Library, Oxford University, 42, folio 12 (6 Feb 1841). As quoted and cited in Dorothy Stein (ed.), 'This First Child of Mine', Ada: A Life and a Legacy (1985), 106-107.
Science quotes on:  |  Analytical Engine (5)  |  Jacob Bernoulli (2)  |  Calculate (16)  |  Data (103)  |  Example (62)  |  Formula (51)  |  Function (100)  |  Hand (116)  |  Head (62)  |  Human (472)  |  Implicit (4)  |  Necessary (92)  |  Note (24)

Imagination is the Discovering Faculty, pre-eminently. … It is that which feels & discovers what is, the REAL which we see not, which exists not for our senses. … Mathematical science shows what is. It is the language of unseen relations between things. … Imagination too shows what is. … Hence she is or should be especially cultivated by the truly Scientific, those who wish to enter into the worlds around us!
— Countess of Lovelace Augusta Ada King
Lovelace Papers, Bodleian Library, Oxford University, 175, folio 199, journal entry for 5 Jan 1841. As quoted and cited in Dorothy Stein (ed.), 'In Time I Will Do All, I Dare Say', Ada: A Life and a Legacy (1985), 128.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (601)  |  Imagination (222)  |  Mathematics (597)  |  Relationship (62)  |  Sense (258)

That brain of mine is something more than merely mortal; as time will show; (if only my breathing & some other etceteras do not make too rapid a progress towards instead of from mortality).
Before ten years are over, the Devil’s in it if I haven’t sucked out some of the life-blood from the mysteries of this universe, in a way that no purely mortal lips or brains could do.
— Countess of Lovelace Augusta Ada King
In letter to Charles Babbage (5 Jul 1843). British Library Additional Manuscripts, MSS 37192, folio 349. As quoted and cited in Dorothy Stein (ed.), 'This First Child of Mine', Ada: A Life and a Legacy (1985), 110.
Science quotes on:  |  Autobiography (55)  |  Brain (184)  |  Breathing (7)  |  Devil (19)  |  Lifeblood (3)  |  Mortality (14)  |  Mystery (133)  |  Universe (615)

The Analytical Engine weaves algebraical patterns just as the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves.
[Describing Charles Babbage's machine.]
— Countess of Lovelace Augusta Ada King
In her notes as translator, following her translation of I. F. Menabrea, 'Sketch of the Analytical Engine Invented by Charles Babbage, Esq.', (from Bibliothègue Universelle de Génève (Oct 1842), No. 82) in Richard Taylor (ed.), Scientific Memoirs (1843), 3, 696.
Science quotes on:  |  Analytical Engine (5)  |  Charles Babbage (44)  |  Loom (9)  |  Pattern (63)

The Analytical Engine has no pretensions whatever to originate anything. It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform. It can follow analysis; but it has no power of anticipating any analytical relations or truths. Its province is to assist us to making available what we are already acquainted with.
[Describing Charles Babbage's machine.]
— Countess of Lovelace Augusta Ada King
In her notes as translator, following her translation of I. F. Menabrea, 'Sketch of the Analytical Engine Invented by Charles Babbage, Esq.', (from Bibliothègue Universelle de Génève (Oct 1842), No. 82) in Richard Taylor (ed.), Scientific Memoirs (1843), 3, 722.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (124)  |  Analytical Engine (5)  |  Anticipate (8)  |  Charles Babbage (44)  |  Computer (86)  |  Originate (16)  |  Pretension (4)  |  Truth (764)


See also:
  • 10 Dec - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of King's birth.
  • Booklist for Ada King Lovelace.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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