With March being Women’s History Month, we’re proud to pay tribute to just a few of the many great women in science and technology that have paved the way for the next generation. Let’s take a look at four trailblazers who have made great strides in technology:
Ada Lovelace (1815 - 1852): Lovelace had a keen interest in mathematics and logic from a young age, which eventually led to her working with Charles Babbage. Lovelace created several early programs -- algorithms -- that were meant for use with Babbage’s Analytical Engine. While the device was never built, Lovelace is known as the first female programmer.
Grace Hopper (1906 - 1992): Hopper had a marked career as a decorated naval officer and computer science pioneer. She created the first compiler in the early-1950, before it was realized computers could do more than arithmetic. She advised the team which developed COBOL and is often referred to as “the mother of the COBOL language”. She also popularized the term, “debugging” due to her work around creating standards in computer testing.
Jean Sammet (1928 - Present): Sammet is credited as being part of the team (along with Grace Hopper) which created the first computer programming language -- COBOL, in 1959. While at IBM, she developed FORMAC in 1962, which became the first widely used programming language for working with arithmetic formulas. She has received the Lovelace Award (1989), Computer Pioneer Award (2009), NCWIT Pioneer Award (2013) among many others.
Betty Holberton (1917 - 2001): Holberton’s computing work with the war effort during World War II gained her induction into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame. Holberton worked as a “computor” during the war to program ENIAC - a system developed to perform calculations for ballistics trajectories electronically. She was a major contributor to BINAC, the prototype for modern programming languages. Along with Sammet and hopper, Holberton was instrumental in developing standards for COBOL.
All four of these women made great strides in the field of modern day computing which has helped shape the world we live in. Who are some of the women in science and technology that you admire? Let us know in the comments.