The History of Women And Computing

Feb 3rd, 2012
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Stanford University
Course: computer science
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One of the most important women of the computer industry is Grace Murray Hopper. She wanted to invent a compiler (a program for creating programs), and her work in this area eventually led to the development of high-level programming languages (Gurer, "Women" 118). In the summer of 1944, Hopper, a former mathematics professor at Vassar College, was ordered to assist Howard Aiken in the military's Computation Lab (Ceruzzi 81-82). Hopper's goal was to make programming easier for both the programmers and members of society, and she played a crucial role in transferring the compiler concept to the commercial world (Gurer, "Women" 118; Ceruzzi 85). Grace Hopper foresaw a great number of applications in computing, including even artificial intelligence (Gurer, "Pioneering Women" 176). She continued to contribute to the design of military programming languages until her death in 1992 (Williams 242).

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