Grace Hopper

"The Queen of Computer Code" who popularized the term "Debugging"

Who is Grace Hopper?

Grace was born Grace Brewster Murray on December 9, 1906 in New York City, New York to Walter Fletcher Murray (Yale B.A. 1894, Phi Beta Kappa) and Mary Campbell Van Horne. She died on January 1, 1992 in Arlington, Virginia. She was a computer scientist, mathematician, and United States Naval officer who reached the rank of Rear Admiral.

Her Early Life and Education

Grace Hopper was born in 1906, in New York. She was the daughter of a professor at Vassar College and had an interest in mathematics from an early age. In 1928, she graduated from Vassar with a degree in mathematics and physics. She then went on to study at Yale University, getting her Ph.D. in mathematics in 1934.

After completing her studies at Yale University, Grace Hopper became a professor of mathematics at Vassar College for two years before joining the United States Naval Reserve during World War II as a lieutenant commander (O-4). She later joined the Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service) program and became one of its first officers when it was established on July 30, 1943. Her work with the Navy.

Her Contributions to Computer Science

In 1944 Grace Hopper invented the first compiler for a computer programming language and was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer. The compiler helped translate instructions written by programmers into machine-readable code that computers were then able to execute directly without any need for interpretation or translation by humans. The first compiler was developed for the A-0 System, which was used to create software for the UNIVAC I and II computers.

Hopper also made many contributions to other fields of computer science, including programming languages and human-computer interaction. She developed one of the first high-level programming languages called FLOW-MATIC, which is still used today.

Her Legacy

Grace Hopper was an inspiration to many women in the computing field. Her legacy lives on. through the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference, which is annually held at the end of September.

Learn more about Grace Hopper from Yale University

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