So Girl Geeks, here’s a little bit more about one of the first Girl Geeks, Grace Murray Hopper (There is another women, even before Grace’s time – can anyone guess – Post your guess in the comments)
Grace Murray Hopper (1906-1992) was a rear admiral in the Navy and a pioneering computer programmer who wrote one of the first compilers (a compiler is the intermediate program that translates English language instructions into the language of the target computer. She did this, she said, because she was lazy and hoped that "the programmer may return to being a mathematician.") She was sometimes known as “Amazing Grace” for her achievements.
As a child, Grace was also taking things apart (the family clocks) and putting them back together and she attributed some of her success to her mother’s love of mathematics and her father’s love of books, which filled the house.
She served on and off in the Navy and in the private sector, always working on the earliest versions of computers and programming language. This was back when a single computer was the size of a room. She studied mathematics at Vassar and taught there and at Harvard. Her methods of teaching were considered somewhat unusual. She tried t to show her students the real world applications of mathematics, and so had them play bridge and try to predict the results, or plan a city and determine the expense of running it.
During WWII she joined the Navy and was assigned to research team developing the first computer. That’s when she wrote her compiler program and also developed the language COBOL, which while no longer widely used today in new software, is relatively easy language to learn to program in.
Grace become a well-know speaker, always appearing in her full dress Admiral’s uniform. Some of her famous quotes that you may be familiar with:
"It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.
"A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what a ship is built for”
Check out fun Girl Power apparel at GirlMogul.com, including our "I Like Math" shirts