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Grace Hopper

Grace Hopper

Overview
Rear Admiral
Rear admiral (United States)
Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. The uniformed services of the United States are unique in having two grades of rear admirals.- Rear admiral :...

 Grace Murray Hopper
(December 9, 1906 January 1, 1992) was an American computer scientist and United States Navy officer. A pioneer in the field, she was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I
Harvard Mark I
The IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator , called the Mark I by Harvard University, was an electro-mechanical computer....

 computer, and developed the first compiler
Compiler
A compiler is a computer program that transforms source code written in a programming language into another computer language...

 for a computer programming language. She conceptualized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL
COBOL
COBOL is one of the oldest programming languages. Its name is an acronym for COmmon Business-Oriented Language, defining its primary domain in business, finance, and administrative systems for companies and governments....

, one of the first modern programming languages.
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Quotations

To me programming is more than an important practical art. It is also a gigantic undertaking in the foundations of knowledge.

As quoted in Management and the Computer of the Future (1962) by Sloan School of Management, p. 277

From then on, when anything went wrong with a computer, we said it had bugs in it.

On the removal of a 2-inch-long moth from the Harvard Mark I|Harvard Mark I experimental computer at Harvard in August 1945, as quoted in Time (magazine)|Time (16 April 1984)

A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things.

As quoted in "Grace Hopper : The Youthful Teacher of Us All" by Henry S. Tropp in Abacus Vol. 2, Issue 1 (Fall 1984) ISSN 0724-6722

I handed my passport to the immigration officer, and he looked at it and looked at me and said, "What are you?"

On being the oldest active-duty officer in the U.S. military, in an interview on 60 Minutes|60 Minutes (24 August 1986)

In total desperation, I called over to the engineering building, and I said, "Please cut off a nanosecond and send it over to me."

On demonstrating a billionth of a second of electricity travel with a piece of wire, in an interview on 60 Minutes|60 Minutes (24 August 1986)

At the end of about a week, I called back and said, "I need something to compare this to. Could I please have a microsecond?"

On demonstrating a billionth of a second of electricity travel with a piece of wire, in an interview on 60 Minutes|60 Minutes (24 August 1986)

Life was simple before World War II. After that, we had systems.

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise.

Unsourced variant: The most dangerous phrase in the language is, "We've always done it this way."
Encyclopedia
Rear Admiral
Rear admiral (United States)
Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. The uniformed services of the United States are unique in having two grades of rear admirals.- Rear admiral :...

 Grace Murray Hopper
(December 9, 1906 January 1, 1992) was an American computer scientist and United States Navy officer. A pioneer in the field, she was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I
Harvard Mark I
The IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator , called the Mark I by Harvard University, was an electro-mechanical computer....

 computer, and developed the first compiler
Compiler
A compiler is a computer program that transforms source code written in a programming language into another computer language...

 for a computer programming language. She conceptualized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL
COBOL
COBOL is one of the oldest programming languages. Its name is an acronym for COmmon Business-Oriented Language, defining its primary domain in business, finance, and administrative systems for companies and governments....

, one of the first modern programming languages. She is credited with popularizing the term "debugging" for fixing computer glitches (motivated by an actual moth removed from the computer). Because of the breadth of her accomplishments and her naval rank, she is sometimes referred to as "Amazing Grace." The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70)
USS Hopper (DDG-70)
USS Hopper , an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, is a ship of the United States Navy named for the pioneering computer scientist, Rear Admiral "Amazing Grace" Hopper....

 was named for her.

Early life and education


Hopper was born Grace Brewster Murray in New York City. She was the oldest in a family of 3 children. She was curious as a child, a life-long trait. At the age of seven she decided to determine how an alarm clock works. She dismantled seven alarm clocks before her mother realized what she was doing. She was then limited to one clock. For her preparatory school
University-preparatory school
A university-preparatory school or college-preparatory school is a secondary school, usually private, designed to prepare students for a college or university education...

 education, she attended the Hartridge School in Plainfield, New Jersey
Plainfield, New Jersey
Plainfield is a city in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population increased to a record high of 49,808....

. Rejected for early admission to Vassar College
Vassar College
Vassar College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York, in the United States. The Vassar campus comprises over and more than 100 buildings, including four National Historic Landmarks, ranging in style from Collegiate Gothic to International,...

 at age 16 (her test scores in Latin were too low), she was admitted the following year. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa
Phi Beta Kappa Society
The Phi Beta Kappa Society is an academic honor society. Its mission is to "celebrate and advocate excellence in the liberal arts and sciences"; and induct "the most outstanding students of arts and sciences at America’s leading colleges and universities." Founded at The College of William and...

 from Vassar in 1928 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and physics and earned her Master's degree at Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

 in 1930.

In 1934, she earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale under the direction of Øystein Ore
Øystein Ore
Øystein Ore was a Norwegian mathematician.-Life:Ore was graduated from the University of Oslo in 1922, with a Cand.Scient. degree in mathematics. In 1924, the University of Oslo awarded him the Ph.D. for a thesis titled Zur Theorie der algebraischen Körper, supervised by Thoralf Skolem...

. Her dissertation, New Types of Irreducibility Criteria, was published that same year. Hopper began teaching mathematics at Vassar in 1931, and was promoted to associate professor in 1941.

She was married to New York University
New York University
New York University is a private, nonsectarian research university based in New York City. NYU's main campus is situated in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan...

 professor Vincent Foster Hopper (1906–1976) from 1930 until their divorce in 1945. She never remarried, and she kept his surname.

World War II Naval service


In 1943, Hopper obtained a leave of absence from Vassar and was sworn in to the United States Navy Reserve
United States Navy Reserve
The United States Navy Reserve, until 2005 known as the United States Naval Reserve, is the Reserve Component of the United States Navy...

, one of many women to volunteer to serve in the WAVES
WAVES
The WAVES were a World War II-era division of the U.S. Navy that consisted entirely of women. The name of this group is an acronym for "Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service" ; the word "emergency" implied that the acceptance of women was due to the unusual circumstances of the war and...

. She had to get an exemption to enlist; she was 15 pounds (6.8 kg) below the Navy minimum weight of 120 pounds (54.4 kg). She reported in December and trained at the Naval Reserve Midshipmen's School at Smith College
Smith College
Smith College is a private, independent women's liberal arts college located in Northampton, Massachusetts. It is the largest member of the Seven Sisters...

 in Northampton, Massachusetts
Northampton, Massachusetts
The city of Northampton is the county seat of Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of Northampton's central neighborhoods, was 28,549...

. Hopper graduated first in her class in 1944, and was assigned to the Bureau of Ships
Bureau of Ships
The United States Navy's Bureau of Ships was established by Congress on June 20, 1940, by a law which consolidated the functions of the Bureau of Construction and Repair and the Bureau of Engineering. The new Bureau was to be headed by a Chief and Deputy-Chief, one selected from the engineering...

 Computation Project at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 as a Lieutenant, junior grade. She served on the Mark I computer
Harvard Mark I
The IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator , called the Mark I by Harvard University, was an electro-mechanical computer....

 programming staff headed by Howard H. Aiken. Hopper and Aiken coauthored three papers on the Mark I,II,II also known as the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator. Hopper's request to transfer to the regular Navy at the end of the war was declined due to her age (38). She continued to serve in the United States Navy Reserve
United States Navy Reserve
The United States Navy Reserve, until 2005 known as the United States Naval Reserve, is the Reserve Component of the United States Navy...

. Hopper remained at the Harvard Computation Lab until 1949, turning down a full professorship at Vassar
Vassar College
Vassar College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York, in the United States. The Vassar campus comprises over and more than 100 buildings, including four National Historic Landmarks, ranging in style from Collegiate Gothic to International,...

 in favor of working as a research fellow under a Navy contract at Harvard
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

.

UNIVAC


In 1949, Hopper became an employee of the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation
Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation
The Eckert–Mauchly Computer Corporation was founded by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly, and was incorporated on December 22, 1947. After building the ENIAC at the University of Pennsylvania, Eckert and Mauchly formed EMCC to build new computer designs for commercial and military applications...

 as a senior mathematician and joined the team developing the UNIVAC I
UNIVAC I
The UNIVAC I was the first commercial computer produced in the United States. It was designed principally by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly, the inventors of the ENIAC...

. In the early 1950s the company was taken over by the Remington Rand
Remington Rand
Remington Rand was an early American business machines manufacturer, best known originally as a typewriter manufacturer and in a later incarnation as the manufacturer of the UNIVAC line of mainframe computers but with antecedents in Remington Arms in the early nineteenth century. For a time, the...

 corporation and it was while she was working for them that her original compiler
Compiler
A compiler is a computer program that transforms source code written in a programming language into another computer language...

 work was done. The compiler was known as the A compiler and its first version was A-0
A-0 programming language
The A-0 system , written by Grace Hopper in 1951 and 1952 for the UNIVAC I, was the first compiler ever developed for an electronic computer. The A-0 functioned more as a loader or linker than the modern notion of a compiler. A program was specified as a sequence of subroutines and arguments...

. In 1954 Hopper was named the company's first director of automatic programming, and her department released some of the first compiler-based programming languages, including ARITH-MATIC
ARITH-MATIC
ARITH-MATIC is an extension of Grace Hopper's A-2 programming language, developed around 1955. ARITH-MATIC was originally known as A-3, but was renamed by the marketing department of Remington Rand UNIVAC.-External links:*...

, MATH-MATIC
MATH-MATIC
MATH-MATIC is the marketing name for the AT-3 compiler. Early programming language for UNIVAC I and UNIVAC II. Intended as an improvement over FORTRAN. Created by a group led by Charles Katz in 1957....

 and FLOW-MATIC
FLOW-MATIC
FLOW-MATIC, originally known as B-0 , was the first English-like data processing language. It was developed for the UNIVAC I at Remington Rand under Grace Hopper.-Development:...

.

COBOL


In the spring of 1959 a two day conference known as the CODASYL
CODASYL
CODASYL is an acronym for "Conference on Data Systems Languages". This was a consortium formed in 1959 to guide the development of a standard programming language that could be used on many computers...

 brought together computer experts from industry and government. Hopper served as the technical consultant to the committee, and many of her former employees served on the short-term committee that defined the new language, COBOL
COBOL
COBOL is one of the oldest programming languages. Its name is an acronym for COmmon Business-Oriented Language, defining its primary domain in business, finance, and administrative systems for companies and governments....

. The new language extended Hopper's FLOW-MATIC language with some ideas from the IBM
IBM
International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

 equivalent, the COMTRAN
COMTRAN
COMTRAN is an early programming language developed at IBM. It was intended as the business programming equivalent of the scientific programming language FORTRAN . It served as one of the forerunners to the COBOL language...

. Hopper's belief that programs should be written in a language that was close to English rather than in machine code
Machine code
Machine code or machine language is a system of impartible instructions executed directly by a computer's central processing unit. Each instruction performs a very specific task, typically either an operation on a unit of data Machine code or machine language is a system of impartible instructions...

 or languages close to machine code (such as assembly language
Assembly language
An assembly language is a low-level programming language for computers, microprocessors, microcontrollers, and other programmable devices. It implements a symbolic representation of the machine codes and other constants needed to program a given CPU architecture...

) was captured in the new business language, and COBOL
COBOL
COBOL is one of the oldest programming languages. Its name is an acronym for COmmon Business-Oriented Language, defining its primary domain in business, finance, and administrative systems for companies and governments....

 would go on to be the most ubiquitous business language to date.

From 1967 to 1977, Hopper served as the director of the Navy Programming Languages Group in the Navy's Office of Information Systems Planning and was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1973. She developed validation software for the programming language COBOL
COBOL
COBOL is one of the oldest programming languages. Its name is an acronym for COmmon Business-Oriented Language, defining its primary domain in business, finance, and administrative systems for companies and governments....

 and its compiler as part of a COBOL standardization program for the entire Navy.

Standards


In the 1970s, she pioneered the implementation of standards
Standardization
Standardization is the process of developing and implementing technical standards.The goals of standardization can be to help with independence of single suppliers , compatibility, interoperability, safety, repeatability, or quality....

 for testing computer systems and components, most significantly for early programming languages such as FORTRAN
Fortran
Fortran is a general-purpose, procedural, imperative programming language that is especially suited to numeric computation and scientific computing...

 and COBOL
COBOL
COBOL is one of the oldest programming languages. Its name is an acronym for COmmon Business-Oriented Language, defining its primary domain in business, finance, and administrative systems for companies and governments....

. The Navy tests for conformance to these standards led to significant convergence among the programming language dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

s of the major computer vendors. In the 1980s, these tests (and their official administration) were assumed by the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), known today as the National Institute of Standards and Technology
National Institute of Standards and Technology
The National Institute of Standards and Technology , known between 1901 and 1988 as the National Bureau of Standards , is a measurement standards laboratory, otherwise known as a National Metrological Institute , which is a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce...

 (NIST).

Retirement


Hopper retired from the Naval Reserve with the rank of Commander
Commander (United States)
In the United States, commander is a military rank that is also sometimes used as a military title, depending on the branch of service. It is also used as a rank or title in some organizations outside of the military, particularly in police and law enforcement.-Naval rank:In the United States...

 at the end of 1966. She was recalled to active duty in August 1967 for a six-month period that turned into an indefinite assignment. She again retired in 1971 but was asked to return to active duty again in 1972. She was promoted to Captain in 1973 by Admiral
Admiral (United States)
In the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard and the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, admiral is a four-star flag officer rank, with the pay grade of O-10. Admiral ranks above vice admiral and below Fleet Admiral in the Navy; the Coast Guard and the Public Health...

 Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr.
Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr.
Elmo Russell Zumwalt, Jr. was an American naval officer and the youngest man to serve as Chief of Naval Operations. As an admiral and later the 19th Chief of Naval Operations, Zumwalt played a major role in U.S. military history, especially during the Vietnam War. A highly-decorated war veteran,...



After Rep. Philip Crane saw her on a March 1983 segment of 60 Minutes
60 Minutes
60 Minutes is an American television news magazine, which has run on CBS since 1968. The program was created by producer Don Hewitt who set it apart by using a unique style of reporter-centered investigation....

, he championed , a joint resolution
Resolution (law)
A resolution is a written motion adopted by a deliberative body. The substance of the resolution can be anything that can normally be proposed as a motion. For long or important motions, though, it is often better to have them written out so that discussion is easier or so that it can be...

 in the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 which led to her promotion to Commodore
Commodore (USN)
Commodore was an early title and later a rank in the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard and a current honorary title in the U.S. Navy with an intricate history. Because the U.S. Congress was originally unwilling to authorize more than four ranks until 1862, considerable importance...

 by special Presidential appointment. In 1985, the rank of Commodore was renamed Rear Admiral, Lower Half. She retired (involuntarily) from the Navy on August 14, 1986. At a celebration held in Boston on the USS Constitution
USS Constitution
USS Constitution is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. Named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America, she is the world's oldest floating commissioned naval vessel...

 to celebrate her retirement, Hopper was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
The Defense Distinguished Service Medal is a United States military award which is presented for exceptionally distinguished performance of duty contributing to national security or defense of the United States...

, the highest non-combat award possible by the Department of Defense. At the moment of her retirement, she was the oldest commissioned officer in the United States Navy (79 years, eight months and five days), and aboard the oldest commissioned ship in the United States Navy (188 years, nine months and 23 days).

She was then hired as a senior consultant to Digital Equipment Corporation
Digital Equipment Corporation
Digital Equipment Corporation was a major American company in the computer industry and a leading vendor of computer systems, software and peripherals from the 1960s to the 1990s...

, a position she retained until her death in 1992, aged 85.

Her primary activity in this capacity was as a Goodwill Ambassador, lecturing widely on the early days of computers, her career, and on efforts that computer vendors could take to make life easier for their users. She visited a large fraction of Digital's engineering facilities where she generally received a standing ovation at the conclusion of her remarks. Although she was an interesting and competent speaker, the most memorable part of these talks was her illustration of a nanosecond. She salvaged an obsolete Bell System 25 pair telephone cable, cut it to 11.8 inch (30 cm) lengths (which is the distance that light travels in one nanosecond) and handed out the individual wires to her listeners. Although no longer a serving officer, she always wore her Navy full dress uniform to these lectures.

She was laid to rest with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...

; Section 59, grave 973.

Honors

  • 1969 – She won the inaugural "computer sciences man of the year" award from the Data Processing Management Association
    Association of Information Technology Professionals
    The Association of Information Technology Professionals is a professional association that focuses on information technology education. The group is a non-profit national group, but its activities are performed by about 200 local chapters organized on a geographic basis, and a similar number of...

    .
  • 1971 – The annual Grace Murray Hopper Award for Outstanding Young Computer Professionals
    Grace Murray Hopper Award
    The original Grace Murray Hopper Awards have been awarded by the Association for Computing Machinery since 1971. The award goes to a young computer professional who makes a single, significant technical or service contribution.-Recipients:* 1971 Donald E. Knuth* 1972 Paul H. Dirksen* 1972 Paul H...

     was established in 1971 by the Association for Computing Machinery
    Association for Computing Machinery
    The Association for Computing Machinery is a learned society for computing. It was founded in 1947 as the world's first scientific and educational computing society. Its membership is more than 92,000 as of 2009...

    .
  • 1973 – She became the first person from the United States and the first woman of any nationality to be made a Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society
    DFBCS
    DFBCS is an abbreviation for Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society .From time to time, BCS considers the award of a Distinguished Fellowship to members of the computing profession who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of computing.The Distinguished Fellowship...

    .
  • 1986 – Upon her retirement she received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal
    Defense Distinguished Service Medal
    The Defense Distinguished Service Medal is a United States military award which is presented for exceptionally distinguished performance of duty contributing to national security or defense of the United States...

    .
  • 1987 – She became a Computer History Museum
    Computer History Museum
    The Computer History Museum is a museum established in 1996 in Mountain View, California, USA. The Museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting the stories and artifacts of the information age, and exploring the computing revolution and its impact on our lives.-History:The museum's origins...

      Fellow Award Recipient.
  • 1988 – She received the Golden Gavel Award at the Toastmasters International
    Toastmasters International
    Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills...

     convention in Washington, DC.
  • 1991 – She received the National Medal of Technology
    National Medal of Technology
    The National Medal of Technology and Innovation is an honor granted by the President of the United States to American inventors and innovators who have made significant contributions to the development of new and important technology...

    .
  • 1996 – USS Hopper (DDG-70)
    USS Hopper (DDG-70)
    USS Hopper , an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, is a ship of the United States Navy named for the pioneering computer scientist, Rear Admiral "Amazing Grace" Hopper....

     was launched. Nicknamed Amazing Grace, it is on a very short list of U.S. military vessels named after women.
  • 2001 – Eavan Boland
    Eavan Boland
    -Biography:Boland's father, Frederick Boland, was a career diplomat and her mother, Frances Kelly, was a noted post-expressionist painter. She was born in Dublin in 1944. At the age of six, Boland's father was appointed Irish Ambassador to the United Kingdom; the family followed him to London,...

     wrote a poem dedicated to Grace Hopper titled "Code" in her 2001 release "Against Love Poetry"
  • 2009 – The Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center
    National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center
    The ', or NERSC for short, is a designated user facility operated by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Department of Energy. It contains several cluster supercomputers, the largest of which is...

     named its flagship system "Hopper".

The Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center
Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center
The Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center , known prior to 1995 as the Fleet Numerical Oceanography Center , is a meteorological and oceanographic center located in Monterey, California...

 is located at 7 Grace Hopper Avenue in Monterey, California
Monterey, California
The City of Monterey in Monterey County is located on Monterey Bay along the Pacific coast in Central California. Monterey lies at an elevation of 26 feet above sea level. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 27,810. Monterey is of historical importance because it was the capital of...

.

Grace Murray Hopper Park
Grace Murray Hopper Park
Grace Murray Hopper Park is a small memorial park in Arlington, Virginia.The park is named in honor of Grace Hopper, a computer scientist and naval officer. A pioneer in the field, she was the first programmer of the Mark I Calculator and developed the first compiler for a computer programming...

, located on South Joyce Street in Arlington, Virginia, is a small memorial park in front of her former residence (River House Apartments) and is now owned by Arlington County, Virginia
Arlington County, Virginia
Arlington County is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The land that became Arlington was originally donated by Virginia to the United States government to form part of the new federal capital district. On February 27, 1801, the United States Congress organized the area as a subdivision of...

.

Women at the world's largest software company, Microsoft Corporation, formed an employee group called Hoppers and established a scholarship in her honor. Hoppers has over 3000 members worldwide.

Brewster Academy
Brewster Academy
Brewster Academy is a co-educational independent boarding school located on in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire USA, two hours north of Boston. It occupies 1/2 mile of shoreline along Lake Winnipesaukee...

, a school located in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
Wolfeboro is a town in Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 6,269 at the 2010 census. A venerable resort area situated beside Lake Winnipesaukee, Wolfeboro includes the village of Wolfeboro Falls...

, United States, dedicated their computer lab to her in 1985, calling it the Grace Murray Hopper Center for Computer Learning. Hopper had spent her childhood summers at a family home in Wolfeboro.

An administration building on Naval Support Activity Annapolis (Previously known as Naval Station Annapolis) in Annapolis, Maryland is named the Grace Hopper Building in her honor.

Building 1482 aboard Naval Air Station North Island
Naval Air Station North Island
Naval Air Station North Island or NAS North Island is located at the north end of the Coronado peninsula on San Diego Bay and is the home port of several aircraft carriers of the United States Navy...

, housing the Naval Computer and Telecommunication Station San Diego, is named the Grace Hopper Building.

Building 6007, C2/CNT West, Command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or C4ISR
C4ISTAR
In military usage, a number of abbreviations in the format C followed by additional letters are used, based on expanded versions of the abbreviation C2 - command and control.C2I stands for command, control, and intelligence....

, Center of Excellence in Aberdeen Proving Ground
Aberdeen Proving Ground
Aberdeen Proving Ground is a United States Army facility located near Aberdeen, Maryland, . Part of the facility is a census-designated place , which had a population of 3,116 at the 2000 census.- History :...

, Maryland is named the Rear Admiral Grace Hopper Building

Grace Hopper's legacy was an inspiring factor in the creation of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. Held yearly, this conference is designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. http://www.gracehopper.org/

Anecdotes


Throughout much of her later career, Grace Hopper was much in demand as a speaker at various computer-related events. She was well known for her lively and irreverent speaking style, as well as a rich treasury of early war stories. She also received the nickname "Grandma COBOL".
  • While she was working on a Mark II Computer at Harvard University
    Harvard University
    Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

     in 1947, her associates discovered a moth
    Moth
    A moth is an insect closely related to the butterfly, both being of the order Lepidoptera. Moths form the majority of this order; there are thought to be 150,000 to 250,000 different species of moth , with thousands of species yet to be described...

     stuck in a relay
    Relay
    A relay is an electrically operated switch. Many relays use an electromagnet to operate a switching mechanism mechanically, but other operating principles are also used. Relays are used where it is necessary to control a circuit by a low-power signal , or where several circuits must be controlled...

     and thereby impeding operation, whereupon she remarked that they were "debugging" the system. Though the term computer bug cannot be definitively attributed to Admiral Hopper, she did bring the term into popularity. The remains of the moth can be found in the group's log book at the Smithsonian Institution's
    Smithsonian Institution
    The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines...

     National Museum of American History
    National Museum of American History
    The National Museum of American History: Kenneth E. Behring Center collects, preserves and displays the heritage of the United States in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. Among the items on display are the original Star-Spangled Banner and Archie Bunker's...

     in Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

  • Grace Hopper is famous for her nanoseconds visual aid. People (such as generals and admirals) used to ask her why satellite
    Satellite
    In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....

     communication took so long. She started handing out pieces of wire which were just under one foot long, which is the distance that light travels in one nanosecond
    Nanosecond
    A nanosecond is one billionth of a second . One nanosecond is to one second as one second is to 31.7 years.The word nanosecond is formed by the prefix nano and the unit second. Its symbol is ns....

    . She gave these pieces of wire the metonym
    Metonymy
    Metonymy is a figure of speech used in rhetoric in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept...

     "nanoseconds." She was careful to tell her audience that the length of her nanoseconds was actually the maximum speed the signals would travel in a vacuum, and that signals would travel more slowly through the actual wires that were her teaching aids. Later she used the same pieces of wire to illustrate why computers had to be small to be fast. At many of her talks and visits, she handed out "nanoseconds" to everyone in the audience, contrasting them with a coil of wire nearly a thousand feet long, representing a microsecond
    Microsecond
    A microsecond is an SI unit of time equal to one millionth of a second. Its symbol is µs.A microsecond is equal to 1000 nanoseconds or 1/1000 millisecond...

    . Later, while giving these lectures while working for DEC, she passed out packets of pepper which she called picosecond
    Picosecond
    A picosecond is 10−12 of a second. That is one trillionth, or one millionth of one millionth of a second, or 0.000 000 000 001 seconds. A picosecond is to one second as one second is to 31,700 years....

    s.


In a treatise on the leadership style of Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
Steven Paul Jobs was an American businessman and inventor widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution. He was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc...

, Jay Elliot described Grace Hopper as appearing to be "all Navy" but when you reach inside, you find a "Pirate" dying to be released.

Notable quotation


The famous quotation "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to get permission" (EAFP
EAFP
EAFP may refer to:*European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy*European Association of Fish Pathologists*the adage that it is Easier to Ask Forgiveness than it is to get Permission, attributed to Grace Hopper and influential in the semantics of the Python programming language...

) is often attributed to Grace Hopper.

Obituary notices

  • Betts, Mitch (Computerworld
    Computerworld
    Computerworld is an IT magazine that provides information for senior IT leaders. It is published in many countries around the world under the same or similar names. Its publisher is International Data Group. Computerworld serves the needs of IT management via print and online...

    26: 14, 1992)
  • Bromberg, Howard (IEEE Software
    IEEE Software
    IEEE Software is a broad-based practitioner-oriented magazine of IEEE Computer Society targeting software professionals, including business analysts, requirements engineers, designers, architects, developers, process improvement experts, testers, quality engineers, and project managers...

    9: 103–104, 1992)
  • Danca, Richard A. (Federal Computer Week 6: 26–27, 1992)
  • Hancock, Bill (Digital Review 9: 40, 1992)
  • Power, Kevin (Government Computer News 11: 70, 1992)
  • Sammet, J.E.
    Jean E. Sammet
    Jean E. Sammet is an American computer scientist who developed the FORMAC programming language in 1962.She received her B.A. in Math from Mount Holyoke College in 1948 and her M.A. in Math from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1949...

      (Communications of the ACM
    Communications of the ACM
    Communications of the ACM is the flagship monthly journal of the Association for Computing Machinery . First published in 1957, CACM is sent to all ACM members, currently numbering about 80,000. The articles are intended for readers with backgrounds in all areas of computer science and information...

    35 (4): 128–131, 1992)
  • Weiss, Eric A. (IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
    IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
    The IEEE Annals of the History of Computing is a quarterly journal published by the IEEE Computer Society. It contains peer-reviewed articles and other contributions on the history of computing, computer science and computer hardware by computer scientists and historians...

    14: 56–58, 1992)

See also



  • Women in computing
    Women in computing
    Global concerns about current and future roles of women in computing occupations gained more importance with the emerging information age. These concerns motivated public policy debates addressing gender equality as computer applications exerted increasing influence in society...

  • Systems engineering
    Systems engineering
    Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering that focuses on how complex engineering projects should be designed and managed over the life cycle of the project. Issues such as logistics, the coordination of different teams, and automatic control of machinery become more...

  • Women in the United States Navy
    Women in the United States Navy
    Women have served in the United States Navy for over a century. Today, there are over 52,391 women serving on active duty in an array of traditional and non-traditional ratings or careers...



Further reading

Williams' book focuses on the lives and contributions of four notable women scientists: Mary Sears (1905–1997); Florence van Straten (1913–1992); Grace Murray Hopper (1906–1992); Mina Spiegel Rees (1902–1997).

External links