December 8, 2013

"Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass."

"Women who get what they want get it because they refuse to settle for anything less."

This is a wonderful article about one badass woman, Grace Murray Hopper.

Hopper began teaching mathematics at her alma mater Vassar, but that course was soon forever altered. A month after D-Day, she enlisted in the U.S. Navy as part of the Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service. She was immediately assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance to work on a project developing a computer. A few years later, she was working on the first large-scale computer development project, the Mark I. By 1949, she had joined the corporate world as an employee of the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation, where she joined a team that would develop the UNIVAC, the world’s first commercially available computer.

These accomplishments alone would easily separate Hopper from the crowd, but she didn’t stop there. She is best known for inventing the first compiler, a technical component that translated human language into a language understood by the computer. From there, she wrote the computer language known as COBOL or Common Business-Oriented Language.

And did you ever wonder where the term “computer bug” came from? Hopper coined the term after a moth accidentally flew into the Mark I, stuck to the inside, and caused the computer to stop working. When she removed the moth, she said the computer was “debugged,” and the term has been used ever since.

I love reading about women like this, women most of us have never heard of. It makes me proud to be a female human being.

No comments: