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23rd of March 2021
Women's History Month: Grace Murray Hopper
by Chenoa Tremblay
In computer programming we use compilers to transpose computer code from one computer language to another. Often this is used to translate a human-readable code to a computer-readable language. Grace Murray Hopper led the Eckert-Mauchly Corporation team in the 1950s that created the first computer language compiler; the breakthrough program translated English language instructions into machine code understood by computers. She was a mathematician, computer scientist and rear admiral in the U.S. Navy.

Born in the United States, Grace Brewster Murray Hopper received a masters degree (1930) and a PhD. (1934) in mathematics from Yale. One of the first three modern “programmers,” Hopper is best known for her trailblazing contributions to the development of computer languages. In the 1920’s to 1930’s a large number of women were receiving doctorates, a rate that would not be matched again until the 1980s. The advent of World War II also created opportunities for women to enter the workforce in greater numbers. Nonetheless, Grace still stood out in a male-dominated profession as exceptional. If you would like to learn more about Grace and her accomplishments, I suggest checking out this article by the Yale news office. (Image credit: Cynthia Johnson/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

March is Women's History Month and this week we are celebrating the careers of women in science.

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