Women and Technology

March is Women’s history month. Today I’ll be talking about some influential women in the history of technology. For many years, women were discouraged from engaging in more scientific or technological fields. Even so, there have been intrepid women who pioneered and advanced their fields throughout the years.

-Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace was an English writer in the mid- nineteenth century. In her writings about Charles Babbage’s analytics engine, she included the first algorithm intended for machine processing, making her the world’s first computer programmer.

-Grace Hopper was a mathematician and was one of the first computer technicians in the history of the world! She coined the phrase “computer bug” after finding a moth stuck to a relay in the original Mark I naval computer.

-In 1968 the first woman ever in the United States was granted a PhD in computer sciences. Barbara Liskov was also the first female head of MIT’s computer sciences department, a position she held for 30 years, while also raising a family.

-Francis Elizabeth Holberton was a colleague of Grace Hopper’s and was also hired to help work on the ENIAC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ENIAC) computer system language, the basis from which all our modern computers are built.

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