Ada Lovelace, action mathematician

We’re trying to get as many of these done for Dragon*Con as possible and the ladies were under-represented. Since I begged to have Ada Lovelace, I figured I’d better get in gear tonight before it’s too late. So I grabbed a trusty pencil instead of my Wacom tablet and scribbled furiously. And here’s what I came up with:

Ada Lovelace (Augusta Ada King née Byron, as in daughter of Lord Byron… that Lord Byron) was a writer who assisted Charles Babbage with his analytical engine. And while she’s commonly referred to as simply ‘a writer’, she’s so much more than that and, IMHO, deserved to rightly be described as a mathematician and quite possibly the world’s first computer programmer. But no matter what you call her, she was an amazing individual and her contributions to math and computing are very real and tangible. And she’s one of my heros. 🙂

So color her, dress her and on Oct. 7th of this year, celebrate her!

At @Coelecanth’s behest, I’ve created a set of ‘alternate reality’ add-ons for Lady Ada. Tesla Anti-Revenant Army Accouterments


I'm a technology nerd, sometimes artist and a science geek. I work at [redacted Ivy League university] where I run the Physics computing group. I'm also an organizer for the Boston Skeptics, a video nerd and I draw and read comics; mostly read these days. I like my beer like I like my science. That is, if science were pulled from a Guinness tap, which it is not. So... yeah. That last bit's wrong. You can find out more about me at and read my webcomic

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  1. One of the things I think is truly amazing about Ms. Lovelace’s programming skills is that she wrote a program for the Babbage analytical engine before it was even built.

  2. It’s simply what one must do, when one is a computer programmer in an age before computers.

  3. Yeah, she was amazing. If you look at some of her notes, it’s clear she had this amazing new thing held clearly in her head and she extrapolated things that would later be important when, like you guys note, the thing wasn’t even built. Babbage never gave her (or anyone else) proper credit, but I think her notes make it obvious that she was absolutely instrumental in his work on the engine.

    I’d like to re-do this one at some point. Anyone have suggestions for appropriate accessories? Other than a piece of an engine, I’m at a loss as to what to add to her.

  4. I’d love to see some silly/fantasy costumes for these dolls. Things like a.Van Der Graff Tyson costume “Ridding the world of bad thinking, one ELECTRIFYING speech at a time!” Or perhaps: Mad Art Labs in association with This Might Be Inappropriate But I’m Going To Say It Anyway Productions, Presents: Ada Lovelace starring in…..Deep Thought!……. “bow-chicka-wow-wow”

    And speaking of “bow-chicka-wow-wow” how about a George Hrab doll? 😉 I mean, think of the accessories!

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