(Video) Grace Hopper, Navy Rear Admiral And Computer Pioneer, Honored By Google Doodle
Monday, December 9, 2013
Today would have been Hopper's 107th birthday. She died in 1991 at the age of 85.
According to Yale University (where Hopper earned a master's in mathematics 1930 and a doctorate in the same subject in 1934), the pioneering woman was one of the first computer programmers, way back in the 1940s:
[She] conceptualized how a much wider audience could use the computer if there were tools that were both programmer-friendly and application-friendly.
The Telegraph adds that historians credit Hopper with helping to invent a computer language used to this day.
Hopper created COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language,) the program that allows computer to communicate through language as well as numbers.
She's also credited with creating the phrase "computer bug."
In August 1945, while she and some associates were working at Harvard on an experimental machine called the Mark I, a circuit malfunctioned. A researcher using tweezers located and removed the problem: a 2-in. long moth. Hopper taped the offending insect into her logbook. Says she: “From then on, when anything went wrong with a computer, we said it had bugs in it.'”
Hopper appeared on "Late Night With David Letterman" back in October 1986. Here's video of that interview: