Explain the contributions of Charles Babbage and Lady Augusta Ada for the development of modern computer.
Charles Babbage was professor at Cambridge University. He developed 2 machines to calculate numeric values. First, he developed ‘Difference Engine’ in 1822 A.D. It could calculate numeric values with decimal places. It could perform addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and square roots. It could perform 60 additions per minute, store the information and make the decisions.
Later, he designed new concept of calculating device with input, process, output and control mechanism called ‘Analytical Engine’ in 1833 A.D. The concept used in this device is followed by all the modern computers. So, it is the base of recent computers. Therefore, Charles Babbage is regarded as the ‘father of Modern Computers’.
Lady Augusta Ada
Lady Augusta Ada was the daughter of great English poet Lord Byron and an admirer and follower of Charles Babbage. She suggested Babbage to use binary number system for program and data for the first time. She is considered as the first computer programmer in the world because she developed programs in binary number system (i.e. machine level language) for Babbage’s Analytical Engine for the first time. So, a programming language, ‘Ada’ was developed by programmers to honor her contributions for computer programming. ‘Ada’ was used in US Defense Department for a long time.
This question is important for Grade 11 Final Examination of Computer Science. Sometimes, it can be asked as “Why is Charles Babbage known as ‘the father of modern computers’?”, where you have to write the two paragraphs shown above Lady Augusta Ada.