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Grace Hopper (1906 – 1992)

The world of Information Technology (IT) isn’t a man’s world as you may think, but women play a key role just as much. When computer science was in its infancy and women were expected to be good housewives and perfect mothers, Grace Hopper was, instead, more fascinated by mathematics and physics.

Although she was one of the most influential figures in computing history, pioneering computer programing while serving in the US Navy, her true passion was mathematics. However, her first job after joining the Navy was to learn how to program Mark I, the first computer in the US and used by the US Navy. She also did pioneering work on the compiler, the intermediate program that translates English language instructions into the language of the target computer. The well-known computer language COBOL was also based on her work.

Her brother, Roger, said Grace considered herself a mathematician despite often being called “Queen of Code”, and enjoyed giving lectures to students who usually filled her classroom. Hopper passed away in her sleep at the age of 86.