Amazing Grace – Computer scientist

older grace Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (1906 – 1992) was a US naval officer and mathematician who invented the computer compiler in 1952. Her compiler revolutionized computer programming, making computers easier to understand. Hopper and a team developed the first user-friendly business programming language, COBOL . There is an unconfirmed story that Hopper determined than an error in the early Mark II computer was caused by a moth that was trapped in it; she then coined the term “computer bug.” Because of the breadth of her accomplishments and her naval rank, she is sometimes referred to as “Amazing Grace”.

Just some of her honours are:

She won the first “man of the year” award from the Data Processing Management Association in 1969.

She was the first woman of any nationality to be made a Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society in 1973.

USS Hopper (DDG-70) was launched. Nicknamed Amazing Grace, it is on a very short list of U.S. military vessels named after women in 1996.

Also women at the world’s largest software company, Microsoft Corporation, formed an employee group called “Hoppers” and established a scholarship in her honor. Hoppers has over 3000 members worldwide.

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing October 1-4, 2008, Keystone Resort, Colorado.

One Response

  1. Now THAT is really a very remarkable story! I loved the bit about how computer bugs came to get that name too. Very enlightening, Vic.

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