March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.
GRACE HOPPER (1906-1992)
Born on Dec. 9, 1906 in New York City, computer scientist Grace Hopper led an extraordinary life. She earned a doctorate in mathematics from Yale in 1934 at a time when it was rare for women to earn such degrees. Hopper then became a professor at Vassar college where she remained until 1943, when she joined the U.S. Navy reserves. Having a passion for both math and computers, Hopper joined Harvard’s Computation Laboratory as a research engineer in 1946. She became only the third person to work on Harvard’s Mark I computer, the first automatic digital computer in America. (The military used the Mark I until 1959 for ballistics calculations.) It was during this time that she coined the term computer “bug,” after a moth caused a giant malfunction in the Mark I’s operation. Keep reading »