Who Inspire Us
Admiral Grace Hopper was a mathematician, computer scientist, social
scientist, corporate politician, marketing whiz, systems designer,
and programmer, and, always, a visionary.
graduated from Vassar with a degree in mathematics in 1928. She
married Vincent Foster Hopper, an educator, in 1930, and began teaching
mathematics at Vassar in 1931.
her Vassar post to join the Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary
Emergency Service) in 1943. Commissioned as a lieutenant, she reported
in 1944 to the Bureau of Ordnance Computation Project at Harvard
on the Mark I electromechanical computing machine and on her first
day was asked to “compute the coefficients of the arc tangent series
by next Thursday." Hopper plunged in and learned what the machine
could do with a clever mathematician at the helm. By the end of
World War II in 1945, she was working on the Mark II. Her husband
died during the war and although her marriage was dissolved at this
point, and though she had no children, she did not resume her maiden
was appointed to the Harvard faculty as a research fellow, and in
1 949 she joined the newly formed Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation,
founded by the builders of ENIAC, one of the first electronic digital
computers. She went back and forth among institutions in the military,
private industry, business, and academe, and in all these places
she was regarded as one of the most incisive strategic "futurists"
in the world of computing
contribution to computing during this period was the invention,
in 1953, of the compiler, the intermediate program that translates
English language instructions into the language of the target computer.