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Hopper, Grace (Murray)

computer navy vassar joined

(1906–92) US computer programming pioneer.

Grace Hopper graduated from Vassar College in mathematics and physics, received a PhD from Yale and taught at Vassar before joining the US services in the Second World War. In 1943 she joined the Naval Reserve and remained a reservist for the rest of her career. Having worked for the wartime navy using large-scale pre-electronic calculators, she joined the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corp. in 1949: thereafter she completed the first compiler (A-O, the software for the Univac computer) in 1952, developed Flow-Matic (a language suitable for business data processing) in 1958 and provided a major input to the development of COBOL, a high-level computer language. She was recalled to the navy in 1967 to help standardize its computer languages.

She had some unusual distinctions; she was the first computer scientist to be named Man of the Year (in 1969), and she was the oldest officer on active US naval duty when she retired in 1986, having been promoted to rear admiral in 1985.

Hordjedef - A PRINCE AND A TEACHER., SOURCES [next] [back] Hopkins, Sir Frederick Gowland

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