Biography Of Grace Hopper And The Computer Age

1528 Words7 Pages
Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, also known as the “Grandmother of the Computer Age” was a remarkable woman who rose to the challenge of programming the first computer, Mark I. During her lifetime as a leader in the field of technology she founded the basis of modern-day computer language as we know it, essentially teaching computers to speak as well as contributing to the transition from primitive programming techniques to the usage of sophisticated compilers. Due to her extraordinary achievements in computer science, she paved the way for future visionaries to further their knowledge and create the modern day technology we use today, and is recognized for developing groundbreaking software, receiving multiple awards, and as the namesake for…show more content…
She attempted to show her students the role math played in real life by offering visible examples. During that time she also earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University - a rare accomplishment for women of that time. (Vassar 4). Hopper had worked her way up to associate professor of mathematics at Vassar College by the time of Pearl Harbor in 1941. However, a year later she joined Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency (WAVE) , or the US Naval Reserve for women, in hopes of more directly serving the war effort. After graduating from midshipmen 's school in 1943 she was commissioned as a lieutenant and given orders to the Navy Bureau of Ships Computation Project at Harvard University where she worked on the Mark I computer programming staff at the Cruft laboratories, a program directed by Howard Aiken. (Isaacson 4).
Upon arriving at the lab she recalls Aikens first words to her being “Where the hell have you been? Here, compute the coefficients of the arctangent series by next Thursday.” (Hopper). Thus, she designed her first computer program. The Mark I was completed in 1944 with the help of Hopper’s knowledge. This computing machine was in many ways unique, most impressive were its speed of computation and its automatic ability to proceed through a series of arithmetic operations without the need of human intervention. (Asprey 72).
The team of engineers who worked on the Mark I were faced with many challenges. Their
Open Document