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Thread: Notable Women in computing history

  1. #1
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    Dec 2002

    Notable Women in computing history

    This thread was inspired by a 3rd grade girl (after a lecture on computer history, which I am ashamed now, I realized, I mostly spoke only of men) who asked me today if Girls could fix computers too.

    This is for you Evelyn!

    Notable women in history

    Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace (1815-1852)

    When inspired Ada could be very focused and a mathematical taskmaster. Ada suggested to Babbage writing a plan for how the engine might calculate Bernoulli numbers. This plan, is now regarded as the first "computer program." A software language developed by the U.S. Department of Defense was named "Ada" in her honor in 1979.

    Edith Clarke (1883-1959)

    In 1918, Edith enrolled in the EE program at MIT, earning her MSc. degree (the first degree ever awarded by that department to a woman) in June 1919. In 1919, she took a job as a computor for GE in Schenectady, NY, and in 1921 filed a patent for a "graphical calculator" to be employed in solving electric power transmission line problems

    Rósa Péter (1905-1977)

    the leading contributor to the special theory of recursive functions." From the mid 1950's she applied recursive function theory to computers. In 1976 her last book was on this topic: Recursive Functions in Computer Theory.

    Grace Murray Hopper (1906-1992)

    Grace Murray Hopper originated this term when she found a real bug in a computer

    Alexandra Illmer Forsythe (1918-1980)

    Alexandra Illmer Forsythe studied mathematics in college and graduate school, and then became interested in computing. During the 1960's and 1970's, she co-authored a series of textbooks on computer science, published by Wiley & Sons and Academic Press. Her first was the first textbook written in CS.

    Evelyn Boyd Granville

    Evelyn Boyd Granville, who earned her doctorate in Mathematics in 1949 from Yale University, was one of the first African American women to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematics. During her career, she developed computer programs that were used for trajectory analysis in the Mercury Project

    Margaret R. Fox

    From 1966 to 1975 Fox was chief of the Office of Computer Information in the NBS Institute for Computer Science and Technology.
    Fox was involved in several professional groups, especially the Association for Computing

    Erna Schneider Hoover

    She invented a computerized switching system for telephone traffic, to replace existing hard-wired, mechanical switching equipment

    Kay McNulty Mauchly Antonelli

    During the early 1940's, Kay McNulty, a recent math graduate from Chestnut Hill College, was employed along with about 75 other young female mathematicians as a "computer" by the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Engineering. These "computers" were responsible for making calculations for tables of firing and bombing trajectories, as part of the war effort. The need to perform the calculations more quickly prompted the development of the ENIAC, the world's first electronic digital computer, in 1946.

    Alice Burks

    Alice Burks was one of 75 female "computers" working at the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Engineering.

    Adele Goldstine

    Adele Goldstine was the wife of Dr. Herman Goldstine, who assisted in the creation of the ENIAC

    Joan Margaret Winters

    While at Cornell Winters also designed and implemented SPINDEX II applications for the Department of Manuscripts and University Archives

    More information about these wonderful ladies can be found here. . . the source of my information....

    Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, "She doesn't have what it takes"; They will say, "Women don't have what it takes".
    Clare Boothe Luce

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Wonderful post techtech..

    I wish more people would tell girls at a young age that it's ok to be interested in computers. The numbers in my program are disgusting and it's really sad.
    First Semester - 108 students - 7 girls
    Second Semester (Current) - 88 students - 6 girls
    Already 2 girls have definately dropped for Third Semester and with the drop out rate for the program being at 20% we'll have 71 students and 4 girls (maybe 3 because another is considering it) for Third Sem.

    It's really sad, I wish more girls would get involved... after all theirs nothing sexier than a female computer geek

  3. #3
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Redondo Beach, CA
    It is a shame. As one of the few female professors at my college I wonder if part of the lack of women/girls in computer program is the lack of a role model. At our section of the college (we deal with networking specific topics) there are about 7 of us -- out of maybe 40 instructors. The levels I teach at I see even fewer women. In my Intro to Security (5th semester) I have 33 students and about 5 are women. The Advanced Security -- 15 students, 1 woman.

    I find it a shame that more don't come into the program. I wonder if part of it is a fear of math. Not all sections of computers are math demanding. In fact, I find most to be more interactive demanding (how to deal with the user).

    *sigh* ..
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
    Extra! Extra! Get your FREE copy of Insight Newsletter||MsMittens' HomePage

  4. #4
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    Dec 2002
    Thank you all for your reply's, and your kind words, I too, discover there's only two female geeks in my company, and it's really sad. I get a lot of disbelief when I tell people I'm a sys admin, perfect strangers not believing my job, because of my gender.
    Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, "She doesn't have what it takes"; They will say, "Women don't have what it takes".
    Clare Boothe Luce

  5. #5
    Senior Member tampabay420's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    i wish there were more l33t girlies out there...
    seldom do i converse with a female about computers/technology...

    just wish there were more girls like y'all around
    yeah, I\'m gonna need that by friday...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    lol just goes to show not all of us gals are ment tobe "bear foot, pregas and in da kitchen" lol

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