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grace hopper American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral.

Grace Hopper A Rebellious Woman Who Made the First Computer Programming Language

Grace Murray Hopper was a United States Naval officer, an American computer scientist. She was an innovator in developing computer technology. For a computer programming language, she developed the first compiler. She also led the development of COBOL, the first programming language. 

Time and Place of Birth 

Hopper was born in New York City, U.S.  on December 9, 1906,

Early life 

In New Jersey Hopper attended preparatory school as a child. Since her childhood, she showed interest in engineering and used to quite frequently take apart household goods and put them together and this curiosity of hers helped her gain a lot of recognition.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from Phi Beta Kappa, Vassar in 1928, and after that in 1930 Grace Hopper went to Yale University and earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. in mathematics. And later-on started teaching at Vassar College. 

Adulthood 

In 1943, Grace Hopper joined the Navy WAVES and resigned from the Vassar College. In the navy she became lieutenant, in 1944 at Harvard University she worked on the project of Mark 1 the first large-scale automatic calculator and she strikes the term bug for computer failures. 

In 1949, Grace Hopper coined the word compiler, which rendered a programmer’s instructions into computer codes. 

Education and Career 

Grace Hopper went to a preparatory school, then did her bachelor’s from Vassar and master’s degree in mathematics from Yale University. She also studied with the most famous mathematician Richard Courant for one year at New York University. In Hopper’s time, women usually did Doctorate degrees but her success is exceptional including being in the Navy.

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While in her career, when she joined the Navy (women reserve) she worked on the Mark 1 computer and came up with the first-ever computer language compiler and led to the popular COBOL language. 

In 1949, she moved into private industry to work on computers in a more detailed form and started working with Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation and worked on UNIVAC computers. And with her team, they created the first compiler for computer languages in 1952.

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Personality 

Grace Hopper’s life wasn’t that easy for her, as she divorced her husband and started working as an associate professor, and things didn’t work out. Hopper was friendly, sharp-minded, and a spirited character and inspired a lot of people especially women. Even though she didn’t marry anyone but kept dating.

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Interesting facts 

  • Hopper’s nickname was Amazing Grace because of her high ranks in naval and myriad achievements in mathematics.
  • The NERSC supercomputer was named after her at the National Energy Research computing center.

Books published by Grace Hopper

  • Tr Masters, understanding computers in the year 1984
  • Instructor’s manual to accompany understanding computers in the year 1990 

Death 

At the age of 85, Grace Hopper died by natural causes while asleep in the year 1992 January 1. Grace Hopper was buried in Virginia with all military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. 

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Awards 

Military awards:

  • Legion of merit in the year 1967
  • American Campaign Medal in the year 1944
  • World War 2 Victory award in the year 1945
  • Naval Reserve Medal in the year 1953 

Other awards: 

  • In 1991, received the medal in National Technology and Innovation
  • In 1988, received IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award 
  • In 1964, received the Society of Women Engineers achievement award
  • In 1988, received the Golden Gavel Award 

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Quotes 

  • A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.
  • Leadership is a two-way street, loyalty up and loyalty down. Respect for one’s superior, care for one’s crew.

FAQ 

1. What is Grace Hopper known for?

Grace Hopper was known for contributing firstly in computer programming, secondly in software development, thirdly and most importantly in the designing and executing programming languages. 

2. Why did Grace Hopper die?

Grace Hopper died at the age of 85 at her home in Arlington due to natural causes in her sleep. 

3. What happens at the Grace Hopper Conference?

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Grace Hopper Conference was a conference of three days where the program was held for computing discussion for women by bringing them together to discuss and research about their career interests. This conference included presentations on a variety of topics, development activities on a professional level, an open-source day, and much more similar activities. 

Conclusion

A woman with rebel at heart, and in a male-dominant era she inspired a lot of women by contributing so much in Navy, computer science as well as in mathematics and received so many awards in the navy as well as in others. 

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