UIT - Women’s History Month – Honoring Grace Hopper

grace hopperGrace Hopper was a pioneering computer scientist who helped create the field of computer programming. She was a great contributor to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM fields made by women throughout history.  

Hopper was one of the first computer programmers to work on the Harvard Mark I. She was also a United States Navy rear admiral and helped develop COBOL -- one of the first high-level programming languages -- and invented the first compiler, a program that translates programming code to machine language. 

Amazing Facts about Grace Hopper: 

  • Hopper earned a Ph.D. in math from Yale in 1934 -- a rare accomplishment for women and in fact, anyone at the time.
  • She is credited with coining the terms “bug” and “de-bug” as related to computer errors.
    One day a computer failure stumped Hopper and her team until she opened the machine
    and found a moth inside! 
  • Her nickname was “Amazing Grace” thanks to her high naval rank and myriad accomplishments in math and computer science.
  • Hopper was a big believer in mentorship, once saying, “The most important thing I've accomplished, other than building the compiler, is training young people. They come to me, you know, and say, 'Do you think we can do this?' I say, ‘Try it.’ And I back 'em up.”
  • The Cray XE6 “Hopper” supercomputer at the National Energy Research Scientific
    Computing Center, or NERSC, was named after her.