Ada and the Engine: Discussion & Difference Engine Demonstration

Join us for a pre-show conversation and demonstration with David Kaiser and Katrina LaCurtis. In 1843, Ada Lovelace completed her notes on Charles Babbage’s design for the Analytical Engine, articulating its capacity to weave algebraic patterns, and envisioning how it might one day be used to create music and images. In 2022, we live enmeshed in a culture of computing and digital technology, with compounding possibilities and confounding questions. Can we take an historical view that empowers us to shape the evolution of a computer culture infused with our humanity?

After the discussion, come see this brief theater-lobby live demonstration, using a digital simulation.

Charles Babbage invented his Difference Engine in 1821: an automatic calculating machine, complete with a printing apparatus. Though it wasn’t fully realized for 200 years, it is recognized as one of the great intellectual achievements of the 19th century – along with Babbage’s Analytical Engine, which has many essential features found in the modern computer. And the Difference Engine is the inciting event for the play, Ada and the Engine. How did it work?

Ada and the Engine by Lauren Gunderson runs at Central Square Theater, 22 September – 23 October. Tickets available here:

Oct 8, 2022
07:00 PM
- 08:00 PM
Central Square Theater 450 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02139
Central Square Theater, Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA
Presented By:

About the

Cambridge Science Festival, the first of its kind in the United States, is a madcap celebration of science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). A multifaceted, multicultural event, the Festival makes science accessible, interactive, and fun, highlighting the impact of STEAM in all our lives.

The Cambridge Science Festival was founded by and is produced by the MIT Museum.