International Women’s Day is celebrated onMarch 8th. It is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In keeping with the theme, we decided to spotlight a few innovative women that had a direct effect of the field of Information Technology.
Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) was a mathematician and writer born in England. She wrote an algorithm intended to be carried out by the Analytical Engine. As such, she is often recognized as the first computer programmer.
Dr Shirley Jackson was born in 1946, and was the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate at MIT, only the second African-American woman to earn her PhD in Physics in the U.S. Dr. Jackson’s breakthrough scientific research enabled others to invent the portable fax, touch tone telephone, solar cells, fiber optic cables, and the technology behind caller ID and call waiting.
Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000) was an Austrian and American actress and inventor. She developed (along with George Antheil) a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes during WWII. The principles of her technology continue to be used today in WiFi, CDMA, and Bluetooth.
Rear Admiral Grace Hopper (1906-1992) sometimes called “Amazing Grace,” has many incredible accomplishments. She is perhaps best known for inventing the first compiler for a computer-programming language. She also popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages. Hopper served as the technical consultant for the committee that defined the language COBOL, one of the first high-level programming languages. Fun Fact: She also coined the term “bug” for computer glitch when she found a moth in her computer.
Margaret Hamilton (Born 1936) is the woman responsible for “the code that took man to the moon.” More specifically, her team pioneered the Apollo on-board guidance software required to navigate and land on the moon. Thanks to her programming, Apollo 11 landed safely. Some of her ideas became the foundation for modern, ultra-reliable software: asynchronous software, priority scheduling, and Human-in-the-loop decision capability.
These are not nearly all the amazing women in the world. They represent only a small sample of the incredible things women are capable of. While today is a day for recognition, it’s also a day for celebration. Women make meaningful contributions not only in our field, but right here in our store every day. We have innovative women coders, social marketers, videographers, product specialists, community outreach specialists and managers. Thank you ladies for all you do!