Okay, fellow readers, nicely folded into the usual baking, library thoughts, and travel news, there will be some tech-based entries for a few months for my IT class. Since it has been a few years that I had done my yearly "women doing awesome stuff" post - my topic for these tech posts are "Women in Technology - Doing Awesome Stuff".
I cannot even begin to write anything about technology unless I begin with the woman who taught computers to understand words.
Hold on! If you dare to call yourself a "super awesome computer geek" and do not know who she is, stop and take a moment to slap yourself (really hard). Feel the burn? Continue reading.
Grace Hopper graduated with her degree in mathematics at Vassr College (and taught there from 1931-1943) and then got her PhD at Yale University in 1934. That same year she joined the Navy Reserve. Immediately she was assigned to work on the embryonic electronic computer (means that they can think for themselves). She worked her way up the ranks and finally became Rear Admiral in 1985. Top this day, she is the oldest woman in the armed forces at the age of 76. After she retired in 1986, she stayed teaching about computers, programming and concepts related to time (such as nanoseconds [see below for video]) until her death in 1992.
Her only regret was not being able to see the 21st century. She wanted to celebrate December 31, 1999, and look back at how far computers had developed, thanks to her knowledge, skill, and dedication.
She loved numbers and puzzles, and coined the term “bug in the computer”, because when she was working at Harvard in 1945 on an experimental machine called the Mark I, something malfunctioned. Opening it up, she found an actual bug in the computer.
She changed the world of early computers by creating COBOL (Common Business Orientated Language), which means that the computers can respond to commands typed in words rather than a number sequence. She worked on Mark II and Mark III and designed and created another computer called UNIVAC I (still in use).
|USS Hopper (DDG-70)|
USS Hooper (DDG-70), a Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, is named after her.
I so want a battleship named after me!
When she retired in 1986, she said this, “Our young people are the future. We must provide for them. We must give them the positive leadership they're looking for.”
That day, she was given the highest award possible by the Department of Defense - the Defense Distinguished Service Medal - one of many awards she received from both the Navy and computing industry.
Today, there is a foundation named after her to celebrate women in the computing field and the same organization pairing up with the Anita Borg Institute to host a convention bringing women, who are far and few, in the computing field, together, to be empowered, share ideas, and network.
Grace Hopper explaining nanoseconds.
Props: For my instructor, citations are below.
Alter, Charlotte. (2013). GoogleDoodle Honors Grace Hopper, Early Computer Scientist: Kicks off Computer Science Education Week with Tribute to Woman Who Taught Computers to Use Words. Time News Feed. Retrieved from http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/12/09/google-doodle-honors-grace-hopper-early-computer-scientist/#ixzz2rEUNKmkE
Anita Borg Institute. (2014) Grace Hopper: Celebrating Women in Technology. Retrieved from http://gracehopper.org
Dickason, Elizabeth. (1992). Looking Back: Grace Murray Hopper's Younger Years. Biographies in Naval History: Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, USN, 9 December 1906 - 1 January 1992. Retrieved from http://www.history.navy.mil/bios/hopper_grace.htm
Dickason, Elizabeth. (1992). Remembering Grace Murray Hopper: A Legend in Her Own Time. Biographies in Naval History: Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, USN, 9 December 1906 - 1 January 1992. Retrieved from http://www.history.navy.mil/bios/hopper_grace.htm