|Ada, Countess Lovelace Linocut by minouette|
In case you don't recognize her, this is Augusta Ada King, Lady of Lovelace—better known as Lady Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer and one of the great brains behind the unrealized Analytical Engine. While the Analytical Engine was the joint brain-child of her and Charles Babbage, Ada was the far more visionary of the two. Babbage insisted that such a machine could only ever deal with numbers, but Ada was convinced of their eventual ability to manipulate symbols as well. If the computers of today would make Babbage's jaw drop, Ada Lovelace would simply smile and say, "I told you so."