A visionary of the computer age, Ada Lovelace was a critical thinker who was truly ahead of her time. Whilst Charles Babbage is often labelled ‘The Father of Computing’ for his work on the Analytical Engine, Lovelace played a key role in interpreting and publicising the machine, prophesying that it could manipulate more than numbers, the foundations of modern computing.
Providing comprehensive notes, calculations and input on Babbage’s machine, Lovelace’s vision for the capabilities of computer technology ultimately proved prescient. Meanwhile, her advanced numerical work and algorithmic thinking earned her the nickname ‘The Enchantress of Numbers’ by Babbage himself.
The Royal Mint celebrates the legacy of Lovelace, a true pioneer of computing, with a UK £2 coin in her honour. Featuring a reverse design by Osborne Ross, the coin depicts the punched cards used to programme the Analytical Engine, alongside the quote ‘a discoverer of the hidden realities of nature’, in reference to how Lovelace described herself in a letter she wrote to her mother in 1841.