People do know!!I do. I reblogged her pic a while back.Admiral Grace Hopper.Grace Hopper. Thanks for all the hard work, Grace. I wouldn’t know who you are without you.
It makes me happy when people know Rear Admiral “Amazing” Grace Hopper!
Usually known as the inventor of COBOL, which is true, it is a disservice to her actual accomplishments and drive that basically created modern computing. Here’s the original points, plus some more:
- If Alan Turing is the father of the computer, she is the mother of modern computing.
- She has a PhD in mathematics from a time when women were discouraged from knowing math.
- She developed the first software compiler.
- She developed machine independent languages.
- She tried to join the Navy after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, but was denied because she was underweight. She persisted and was accepted. She retired as one of the first women to reach the rank of (Commodore at the time, but switched shortly after to) Rear Admiral of the US Navy.
- She was involved in the development of the UNIVAC.
- She invented a computer language still in use today (COBOL)
- She invented the term ‘debugging’ when an associate found a moth in a vacuum tube.
- She coined the phrase “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.”
- She has a navy destroyer and cray supercomputer named after her.
- After retiring from the navy, she worked for DEC. Her primary activity in this capacity was as a goodwill ambassador, lecturing widely on the early days of computers, her career, and on efforts that computer vendors could take to make life easier for their users. She visited a large fraction of Digital’s engineering facilities, where she generally received a standing ovation at the conclusion of her remarks.
- Grace Hopper is famous for her nanoseconds visual aid. People (such as generals and admirals) used to ask her why satellite communication took so long. She started handing out pieces of wire which were just under one foot long (11.80 inches), which is the distance that light travels in one nanosecond. She gave these pieces of wire the metonym ”nanoseconds.”
- Later she used the same pieces of wire to illustrate why computers had to be small to be fast. At many of her talks and visits, she handed out “nanoseconds” to everyone in the audience, contrasting them with a coil of wire nearly a thousand feet long, representing a microsecond. Later, while giving these lectures while working for DEC, she passed out packets of pepper which she called picoseconds.
- The most important thing I’ve accomplished, other than building the compiler, is training young people. They come to me, you know, and say, “Do you think we can do this?” I say, “Try it.” And I back ‘em up. They need that. I keep track of them as they get older and I stir ‘em up at intervals so they don’t forget to take chances.”
- Jay Elliot described Grace Hopper as appearing to be “all Navy” but when you reach inside, you find a “Pirate” dying to be released.
- She was laid to rest with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen… the person that took computers from ones and zeros and made computers what they are today is a woman. A military woman. A female scientist. She was brilliant, adventurous, stubborn, and all around awesome. It is a SHAME she isn’t as well known as she is. Please take some time to go over these facts and read that wikipedia article (which I stole most of the facts from). Learn about her. She changed your life for the better!
Happy birthday Grace!!
COMPUTER GRAPHICS 1963 — This is an example of what is considered to be “possibly the very first computer graphics film ever.” In 1963, AT&T (aka, Ma Bell) was heavily involved in satellite research after launching Telstar a year before. Bell Systems researcher Edward E. Zajac was interested in simulating the movement of a box-like satellite with two gyroscopes within, recreating the flight dynamics (pitch, roll, yaw) of moving through orbital space. According to AT&T: “Zajac programmed the calculations in FORTRAN, then used a program written by Zajac’s colleague, Frank Sinden, called ORBIT. The original computations were fed into the computer via punch cards, then the output was printed onto microfilm using the General Dynamics Electronics Stromberg-Carlson 4020 microfilm recorder. All computer processing was done on an IBM 7090 or 7094 series computer.”
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has been pondering artificial intelligence since he was a kid. In the late ’60s, eerily intelligent computers were everywhere, whether it was 2001’s HAL or Star Trek’s omnipresent Enterprise computer. As Allen recalls in his memoir, “machines that behaved like people, even people gone mad, were all the rage back then.” He would tag along to his father’s job at the library, overwhelmed by the information, and daydream about “the sci-fi theme of a dying or threatened civilization that saves itself by finding a trove of knowledge.” What if you could collect all the world’s information in a single computer mind, one capable of intelligent thought, and be able to communicate in simple human language?
Need a break? Help the New York Public Library train computers to recognize building shapes and other information from old city maps.
This month’s WIRED cover features 12-year-old Paloma Noyola Bueno, currently the top ranking student in México. This cover story filled me with joy and not because it’s focused on poverty in borderlands and autodidactism (although that’s definitely a plus), but because it’s heartening to know that there is people like Sergio Juárez Correa creating contrast in education in Mexico, especially poverty-stricken areas that don’t have a lot of resources. Juárez Correa, tired of ineffective teaching methods and fruitless results, he began to research new teaching methods and came across Sugata Mitra’s methods on self-directed learning. Mitra is best known for his experiments in India where he left computers for children to use and “without any instruction, they were able to teach themselves a surprising variety of things, from DNA replication to English.”
With the first trial of self-directed learning lessons, Juárez Correa, not only was able to bring down the national standardized exam fail rates (from 45 percent in math to 7 percent and 31 percent in Spanish to 3.5 percent), but he was able to bring his students to the top of the math and Spanish rankings in Mexico. He also didn’t just lead self-directed learning in math and Spanish, but in other topics including controversial topics.Juárez Correa began hosting regular debates in class, and he didn’t shy away from controversial topics. He asked the kids if they thought homosexuality and abortion should be permitted. He asked them to figure out what the Mexican government should do, if anything, about immigration to the US. Once he asked a question, he would stand back and let them engage one another.
The article has great studies that have been done on self-directed learning. You can read the article here.
“The bottom line is, if you’re not the one controlling your learning, you’re not going to learn as well.”
Loved this article and all the references & citations of other alternative education methods.
Paper tape reader for computer, 1965.
Google started as a graduate school project. So it’s apt that the next film in our computing heritage series pays homage to the work of another student team, nearly 60 years ago in Austria.
GitHub For Beginners: Don’t Get Scared, Get Started
Lauren Orsini, readwrite.com
It’s 2013, and there’s no way around it: you need to learn how to use GitHub.
Why? Because it’s a social network that has completely changed the way we work. Having started as a developer’s collaborative platform, GitHub is now the…