This article highlights the women who have made significant contributions to the world of technology. Below mentioned are some extraordinary women who shaped the way technology and the computer have developed.
1. Ada Lovelace
Ada Lovelace is a famous name when we talk about the history of computers. She became famous as the first computer programmer and was born on 10 December 1815. Since her childhood, her interest was in mathematics and science. She was an associate of Charles Babbage, who is known as the “father of computers”. Moreover, Ada took a keen interest in Babbage’s Analytical Engine. In her notes, she prolifically explained the analytical engine and how it was different from the original engine. Describing an algorithm for an analytical engine to compute Bernoulli numbers was not an easy task. Her work was well recognized. The early programming language was named in honor of her.
2. Annie Easley
Annie Easley, the trailblazing woman, was a NASA rocket scientist. She dedicated her career to implementing and developing computer code that analyzed alternative power technologies. Easley was a computer programmer who worked in languages like FORTRAN and Symbolic Optimal Assembly Program. Easley worked on batteries and her most famous work includes the rocket project Centaur which laid the foundations for space shuttle launches in the future. She was the first president of NASA Lewis Ski Club. Annie, the African American woman, arose from all the discrimination of the society and being a mathematician, computer scientist, and rocket scientist, prided herself in her work ethic and became the motivation for many women.
3. Susan Kare
Susan Kare is a famous artist and graphic designer. She is best known for her work at Apple. She created a common interface element and typeface. In the 80’s she also worked alongside Steve jobs.
Her goal was to be a fine artist but a call from her school friend Andy Hertzfeld changed her way. With the advice of Paul Rand, “Don’t try to be original, just try to be good”, she created visuals for computer commands with simplicity and clarity. Kare developed pixel art and a graphic user interface. Born on February 5, 1954, she gave revolutionary icons and fonts for the original Macintosh. She is considered one of the most iconic technologists.
4. Grace Hopper
The U.S Navy rear admiral Grace Hopper was born on December 9, 1906, in New York City. She was a mathematician and computer scientist. Hopper joined Eckert-Mauchly computer corporation in 1949 and served in the development of UNIVAC 1, the first known large-scale electronic computer. She worked on the compiler and the first version of the compiler named A-0. She also invented the first linkers. Later in 1959, she was involved in the development of the earliest standardized computer language COBOL for the U.S Navy. She was one of the first computer programmers to work on the Harvard Mark 1.
5. Hedy Lamarr
When we talk about beauty with the brain, Hedy Lamarr perfectly fits in. She was an American actress, film producer, and self-taught inventor. Lamarr’s first American film Algiers made her a star overnight. In her 28 years of career, she appeared in over 30 films. During world war ll, she led to the invention of the frequency-hopping spread spectrum with the help of George Antheil. She also did improvements in traffic signals. In 1942, she patented a “secret communication system”. This idea eventually inspired Bluetooth, Wi-fi, and GPS technology. Although, she never received payments for her invention. It happened as the patent used to expired by the time technology was invented. Hedy Lamarr, known as “the most beautiful woman in the world” had an IQ of 154.
6. Radia Perlman
Radia Perlman, known as the “mother of the internet”, is a computer programmer and network engineer. Born in a family where her parents were engineers, she took a keen interest in maths and science. After that, she started taking classes for programming in high school, it was then when she decided to pursue her career in computer. Perlman led to the invention of the spanning tree algorithm and the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP). in 1984 she worked at Digital Equipment Corporation as a consulting engineer. She is the author of a textbook on networking and co-author of another textbook on network security. Thus, later she became famous for her specialization in network and security protocol.
7. Mary Lou Jepsen
Mary Lou Jepsen is the CEO and founder of open water, which uses new optics to see inside our bodies. She is a technical executive and the world’s foremost engineer. Jepsen is the inventor of the display, imaging, and computer hardware. She published more than 200 patents. Jepsen joined MIT Media Lab as a professor. Jepsen with Nicholas Negroponte co-founded One Laptop per child. She worked on the low-cost red laser pointer. While working at Phillips, Jepsen contributed to breakthroughs in LED efficiency. She is recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
8. Roberta Williams
Roberta Williams is the mastermind behind the most popular PC games of the 80s and 90s. Williams is the co-founder of Sierra Entertainment, video game designer, and writer. She developed some amazing games which include mystery house, the king’s quest, the wizard and the princess, and many more. At the time when the Apple computer was becoming popular, William’s husband Ken brought the computer home. Williams was interested in playing video games. With the enthusiastic help of her husband, she figured out the development of graphical adventure games.
9. Dr. Erna Hoover
An American mathematician, Dr. Erna Hoover was a professor at Swarthmore College at an early age. After marriage, she joined Bell Labs where she was the first female employee. She made the key contribution to the system architecture of the computerized telephone switching method. Moreover, Hoover became the first woman in the US to receive a software patent for the computerized switching system. Later she worked on the software application focusing on artificial intelligence and IMS-IBM/UNIX-based system communication.
10. Elizabeth Feinler
Elizbeth Feinler is known for Network Information Center (NIC) which she ran in California. She was born on March 2, 1931, and completed her graduation from West Liberty State College. After that, she managed the first ARPANET, Defense Data Network(DDN), and network information centers under the department of defense. The NIC published the documentation and directories for the internet. Before the arrival of commercial outfits, it was Elizabeth’s NIC which approved the domain name.
Therefore, these are some trailblazing women who changed the tech world through their inventions. They proved that anyone can excel in tech world regardless of their gender, background, and faith.
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