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Mathematics Goes to the Movies

by Burkard Polster and Marty Ross

**Conceiving Ada (1997)**

8:30

ADA: At first I hated mathematics. Mother would often punish me. I was required
to write two daily journals. One was my notes in which I analysed mathematics
and in the other apologies to my mother.

25:28

ADA to Babbage: I have been studying your drawings. Your analytic engine weaves
algebraic patterns like ??? flowers. It’s so beautiful.

38:20

TEACHER: Whereas arithmetic’s object is passage through time, geometry’s
object is extension in space. Only one line can be drawn in parallel.

ADA (storytelling v.o.): As I grew older the lessons took place inside the cottage
where I could more easily negotiate whatever payment was required to master
the deeper secrets of mathematics.

ADA to teacher: Teach me about infinity.

Teacher: You know so much already, you are beginning to frighten me.

40:45

ADA (v.o.): My mother loved arithmetic. Father called her his princess of parallelograms.
It was because of my mother’s curiosity that I first met Charles Babbage.

41:57

ADA to Babbage: I’ve studied advanced calculus.

43:00

EMMY (the present day computer scientist): What are you writing about?

ADA: The soul of something… the soul of an engine. I’m not sure
whether its mathematics what I am writing. I am not sure whether it is really
pure enough to be considered mathematics, but it doesn’t matter because
noone will ever see it. It’s just a working model for Babbage’s
engine.

45:35

ADA: Babbage called me the enchantress of numbers.

45:50

Ada explaining something she has written: systems, binary systems.

46:30

ADA:David the children’s tutor agreed to help me with my experiments in
statistical probability. Some people call it gambling.

48:43

ADA: I am dreaming of a machine, like Babbage’s that will one day allow
us to predict an infinite series of numerical outcomes, an infinite number of
dreams

56:18

ADA commenting on her lover leading a double life: Parallel lines running to
infinity.

58:16

MOTHER: If you think me cruel Ada, constraining you to the one subject of mathematics,
consider this. Had you been beset since birth with the thrilling savagery of
art and poetry, you would have become by now a monstrosity.

1:05:14

DOCTOR: It seems that the uterus is destroyed. All that mathematics was just
too much for your body. You brought it on yourself.

1:06:21

ADA: I never thought the equation (her life) would end quite like this. In pain
and with this wretched bleading.

1:17:30

ADA: There is genius in our blood. We will calculate another solution.