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Pioneering Women in Computing Technology
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Timeline ordered by the date of their most major accomplishment or first of many accomplishments.
Hover on each decade to view the short biography of each woman.

Ada Byron, Lady Lovelace, was one of the most picturesque characters in computer history. August Ada Byron was born December 10, 1815 the daughter of the illustrious poet, Lord Byron. Five weeks after Ada was born Lady Byron asked for a separation from Lord Byron, and was awarded sole custody of Ada who she brought up to be a mathematician and scientist. Lady Byron was terrified that Ada might end up being a poet like her father. Despite Lady Byron's programming Ada did not sublimate her poetical inclinations. She hoped to be "an analyst and a metaphysician". In her 30's she wrote her mother, if you can't give me poetry, can't you give me "poetical science?" Her understanding of mathematics was laced with imagination, and described in metaphors.

View the complete profile.

Edith Clarke, born in a small farming community in Maryland, went to Vassar College at age eighteen to study mathematics and astronomy and graduated in 1908 with honors and as a Phi Beta Kappa. Subsequently, she taught mathematics at a private girls' school in San Francisco, and then at Marshall College in Huntington, W. Va. In the fall of 1911, Edith enrolled as a civil engineering student at the University of Wisconsin. At the end of her first year, she took a summer job as a "Computor Assistant" (skilled mathematician) to AT&T research engineer Dr. George Campbell and was so interested in the computing work that she did not return to her studies, but instead stayed on at AT&T to train and direct a group of computors.

In 1918, Edith left to enroll in the EE program at MIT, earning her MSc. degree (the first degree ever awarded by that department to a woman) in June 1919. In 1919, she took a job as a computor for GE in Schenectady, NY, and in 1921 filed a patent for a "graphical calculator" to be employed in solving electric power transmission line problems. Also in 1921, she took a leave from GE to take a position as a professor of physics at the U.S.-founded Constantinople Women's College in Turkey. Returning to GE in 1922 as a salaried electrical engineer, Edith continued there till her first retirement in 1945. In 1947, after a brief first retirement on a farm in Maryland, she accepted an EE professorship at the University of Texas, Austin, and became the first woman to teach engineering there. She worked there as a full professor until her second retirement in 1956.

In a March 14, 1948 interview by the Daily Texan, she commented on the future prospects for women in engineering: "There is no demand for women engineers, as such, as there are for women doctors; but there's always a demand for anyone who can do a good piece of work." A New York Times article of Feb. 19, 1956, said, "She believes that women may help solve today's critical need for technical manpower."

Dr. James E. Brittain's paper, "From Computor to Electrical Engineer--the Remarkable Career of Edith Clarke," sheds light on how she was a pioneer for women in both engineering and computing:

"Edith Clarke's engineering career had as its central theme the development and dissemination of mathematical methods that tended to simplify and reduce the time spent in laborious calculations in solving problems in the design and operation of electrical power systems. She translated what many engineers found to be esoteric mathematical methods into graphs or simpler forms during a time when power systems were becoming more complex and when the initial efforts were being made to develop electromechanical aids to problem solving. As a woman who worked in an environment traditionally dominated by men, she demonstrated effectively that women could perform at least as well as men if given the opportunity. Her outstanding achievements provided an inspiring example for the next generation of women with aspirations to become career engineers."
  • Brittain, Dr. James E. From Computor to Electrical Engineer -- the Remarkable Career of Edith Clarke. IEEE Transactions on Education, Vol. E28, No. 4, Nov. 1985.
  • Gusen, Aaron. Looking Back: Edith Clarke. IEEE Potentials, Feb. 1994. (This paper is the source for the information provided above.)

"Fox graduated from Wisconsin State College in 1940. She joined the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1943 and was stationed at the Naval Research Station in Washington. She continued to work there as an electronics engineer in radar after her discharge in 1946. In 1951 she joined the National Bureau of Standards as a member of the technical staff of the Electronic Computer Laboratory. Later, she joined the Research Information Center and Advisory Service on Information Processing (RICASIP) where she was involved in producing reviews and bibliographies. From 1966 to 1975 Fox was chief of the Office of Computer Information in the NBS Institute for Computer Science and Technology.

Fox was involved in several professional groups, especially the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the American Federation for Information Processing Societies (AFIPS). She was the first secretary of AFIPS."

Quoted from: Margaret Fox Papers (CBI 45), Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

"co-invention of spread-spectrum broadcast communications technologies 1940, EFF Special Pioneer Award 1997."

  • The Amazing Grace Hopper - a Navy Homepage for both the lady and her ship
  • A Civilian Portrait and A Portrait in Uniform

  • Grace Murray Hopper: Inventor of the Computer Compiler from the Invention Dimension at MIT

  • Admiral Hopper Awarded the National Medal of Technology. Digital Equipment Corporation Press Release, Sept. 16, 1991.

  • Admiral Hopper Dies. Digital Equipment Corporation Press Release, Jan. 2, 1992.

  • Billings, Charlene W. Grace Hopper: Navy Admiral and Computer Pioneer. For Grades 5-12. National Women's History Project.

  • Dickason, Elizabeth. Remembering Grace Murray Hopper: A Legend in Her Own Time. CHIPS, 1986.

  • Lee, J.A.N. Unforgettable Grace Hopper. Reader's Digest, October 1994, p 181.

  • Perusek, Anne M. Hopper Inducted in National Women's Hall of Fame. Society of Women Engineers Magazine, Nov./Dec. 1994.

  • Philip Schieber. The Wit and Wisdom of Grace Hopper. OCLC Newsletter, March/April 1987, No. 167.

  • See the very first computer bug! Grace Murray Hopper originated this term when she found a real bug in a computer.

During the early 1940's, Kay McNulty, a recent math graduate from Chestnut Hill College, was employed along with about 75 other young female mathematicians as a "computer" by the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Engineering. These "computers" were responsible for making calculations for tables of firing and bombing trajectories, as part of the war effort. The need to perform the calculations more quickly prompted the development of the ENIAC, the world's first electronic digital computer, in 1946.

Kay McNulty Mauchly Antonelli recalls computing in 1946:

"We did have desk calculators at that time, mechanical and driven with electric motors, that could do simple arithmetic. You'd do a multiplication and when the answer appeared, you had to write it down to reenter it into the machine to do the next calculation. We were preparing a firing table for each gun, with maybe 1,800 simple trajectories. To hand-compute just one of these trajectories took 30 or 40 hours of sitting at a desk with paper and a calculator. As you can imagine, they were soon running out of young women to do the calculations. Actually, my title working for the ballistics project was `computer.' The idea was that I not only did arithmetic but also made the decision on what to do next. ENIAC made me, one of the first `computers,' obsolete.

On computing in 1996, Kay says:

I love that it's a perfectly normal thing for kids. My 5-year-old granddaughter is not amazed by computers at all. I guess the amazement will come when she realizes it won't do everything in the world.

Born Frances Bilas in Philadelphia of 1922, Frances Spence attended Temple University, then transferred to Chestnut Hill College after receiving a scholarship there. She majored in mathematics with a minor in physics, graduated in 1942, and also met Kay McNulty there. The two were selected by the Moore School of Engineering to compute ballistic trajectories. They were then selected to be in the first group of programmers for the ENIAC, the world's first electronic digital computer, which was used to perform the same ballistic trajectory calculations.

In 1947, Spence married Homer Spence, who was at one point the head of the Computer Research Branch for the ENIAC.

The Women in Technology International (WITI) inducted her into the WITI Hall of Fame in 1997.

  • Gurer, Dennis. "Pioneering Women in Computer Science." ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, Volume 34, Issue 2. ACM Press, 2002.

  • Wikipedia

Born as Betty Jean Jennings in Gentry County, Mississippi on December 27th, 1924, Jean Bartik attended Northwest Missouri State Teachers College where she majored in mathematics. The University of Pennsylvania hired her to work for the Army Ordnance at Aberdeen Proving Ground, a United States Army facility. There, she was selected to be part of the first group of programmers for the ENIAC, world's first electronic computer. She later went on to work on the BINAC and UNIVAC I.

Bartik also worked as a editor for Auerbach Publishers, publishing content on information technology. In 1981, she left Auerbach to join Data Decisions, a competitor to Auerbach, where she was the Senior Editor for the Communications Services Research Publications.

In 1997, Bartik was inducted into the Women in Technology International's Hall of Fame. In 2008, she was a Fellow Award honoree of the Computer History Museum.

  • Gurer, Denise. "Pioneering Women in Computer Science." ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, Volume 34, Issue 2. ACM Press, 2002.

  • Wikipedia

"Frances Elizabeth 'Betty' Holberton was born Frances Elizabeth Snyder in Philadelphia in 1917. On her first day of classes at the University of Pennsylvania, Betty’s math professor told her that she should stay home raising children instead of wasting her time attempting to achieve a degree in mathematics, and was thus discouraged from pursuing it. Instead, Betty decided to study journalism, because its curriculum let her travel far a-field. Journalism was also one of the few programs of study open to women during that time."

Betty was hired by the Moore School of Engineering to be part of the first group of programmers for the ENIAC, the world's first electronic computer, to compute ballistic trajectories.

"After World War II, Betty worked at Remington Rand and the National Bureau of Standards. She was the Chief of the Programming Research Branch, Applied Mathematics Laboratory at the David Taylor Model Basin in 1959. She helped to develop the UNIVAC, wrote the first generative programming system (SORT/MERGE), and also the first statistical analysis package which was used for the 1950 US Census. Betty worked with John Mauchly to develop the C-10 instruction for BINAC which is considered to be the prototype of all modern programming languages. She also participated in the development of early standards for the COBOL and Fortran programming languages with Grace Hopper."

In 1997, Betty was inducted into the Women in Technology International's Hall of Fame for her work on the ENIAC.

  • Gurer, Denise. "Pioneering Women in Computer Science." ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, Volume 34, Issue 2. ACM Press, 2002.

  • Quoted parts from Wikipedia

Ruth Teitelbaum (née Lichterman) graduated from Hunter College with a Bachelor's of Science in mathematics. She was hired by the Moore School of Engineering to to be among the first group of programmers for the ENIAC, the world's first electronic computer, to compute ballistic trajectories. After the ENIAC was completed and was transferred to the Ballistics Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, a United States Army facility, Teitelbaum stayed to train the next group of programmers for the ENIAC for two years.

In 1997, Betty was inducted into the Women in Technology International's Hall of Fame for her work on the ENIAC.

  • Gurer, Denise. "Pioneering Women in Computer Science." ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, Volume 34, Issue 2. ACM Press, 2002.

  • Wikipedia

Born as Marlyn Wescoff, Meltzer graduated from Temple University in 1942. She was hired by the Moore School of Engineering to perform weather calculations because she knew how to operate an adding machine. In 1943, she was hired to calculate ballistic trajectories. Then in 1945, she was selected to be one of the first programmers for the ENIAC, the world's first electronic computer.

In 1997, Betty was inducted into the Women in Technology International's Hall of Fame for her work on the ENIAC.

  • Gurer, Denise. "Pioneering Women in Computer Science." ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, Volume 34, Issue 2. ACM Press, 2002.

  • Wikipedia

Adele Goldstine was the wife of Dr. Herman Goldstine, who assisted in the creation of the ENIAC, the world's first electronic digital computer, at UPenn in the 1940's. Adele Goldstine made an indelible contribution to the ENIAC project herself by authoring the Manual for the ENIAC in 1946. This original technical description of the ENIAC detailed the machine right down to its resistors.

"One of the original programmers of the ENIAC starting in 1946, WITI Hall of Fame 1997."

"One of the original programmers of the ENIAC starting in 1946, WITI Hall of Fame 1997."

"One of the original programmers of the ENIAC starting in 1946, WITI Hall of Fame 1997."

"One of the original programmers of the ENIAC starting in 1946, WITI Hall of Fame 1997."

"One of the original programmers of the ENIAC starting in 1946, WITI Hall of Fame 1997."

"One of the original programmers of the ENIAC starting in 1946, WITI Hall of Fame 1997."

Rósa Péter studied mathematics at Loránd Eötvös University in Budapest, graduating in 1927 and beginning her career as a tutor. From 1945 until her retirement in 1975, she was a professor of mathematics, for 10 years at Budapest Teachers Training College and subsequently at Loránd Eötvös University.

From the MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive:

Her first research topic was number theory, but she became discouraged on finding that her results had already been proved by Dickson. For a while Rósa wrote poetry, but around 1930 she was encouraged to return to mathematics by Kalmár. He suggested Rósa examine Gödel's work, and in a series of papers she became a founder of recursive function theory. Rósa wrote Recursive Functions in 1951, which was the first book on the topic and became a standard reference. In 1952 Kleene described Rósa Péter in a paper in Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. as ``the leading contributor to the special theory of recursive functions." From the mid 1950's she applied recursive function theory to computers. In 1976 her last book was on this topic: Recursive Functions in Computer Theory.

"Canada’s Female Computer Pioneer, a witness to several great moments in computing history, one of the first women to earn a doctorate in Computer Science in 1951."

"Thelma Estrin, a 1977 IEEE Life Fellow 'for contributions to the design and application of computer systems for neurophysiological and brain research,' is a pioneer in the field of biomedical engineering and as the IEEE's first female vice president.

"Thelma was born in New York City, an only child who was destined to attend college and attain greater achievements. While other girls in school took commercial courses, she pursued academic courses and prepared to go to college. She attended City College of New York (CCNY) in 1941 where she met her husband Jerry. A year later, in 1942, she took a three month course at Stevens Institute of Technology for engineering assistants. She worked for two years at the Radio Receptor Company. In 1946 she and Jerry moved to Madison, Wisconsin, to pursue undergraduate electrical engineering degrees at the University of Wisconsin. Through a great deal of hard work and long days, Thelma Estrin received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in 1948, 1949 and 1951, respectively. Jerry received an offer to join John von Neumann's computer project at the Institute for Advanced Study and they moved to Princeton, NJ. Thelma was determined to maintain her own career and was hired at the Electroencephalography Department of the Neurological Institute of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital (New York) in November 1951.

"Thelma and Jerry spent fifteen months in Israel working on the WEIZAC (WEIZmann Automatic Computer). This became the first electronic computer in the Near East. In 1956, Jerry accepted an offer by UCLA as an associate professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. During this time Thelma taught at Valley College, a junior college in Los Angeles, and did some consulting work. In 1960, Thelma joined the Brain Research Institute (BRI) and in 1970 became the Director of its Data Processing Laboratory. As Director she provided computer support for a variety of research projects and helped dozens of researchers make use of computers. Thelma was an early champion of medical informatics, the application of computers to medical research and treatment, in all its branches. In 1980 Thelma became a professor in residence in the Computer Science Department of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at UCLA. She retired in July 1991 at the age of sixty-seven.

"Thelma has been an active IEEE volunteer, serving as an officer of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society and on the Technical Activities Board, and she was the first woman to be elected to the IEEE Board of Directors. In 1982 she served as executive vice president of IEEE. She has received many honors from the Institute, including the Haradan Pratt Award in 1991."

"research mathematician and scientist who worked at NASA’s Langley Research Center 1953 to 1986, calculated the trajectory of the early space launches."

Evelyn Boyd Granville, who earned her doctorate in Mathematics in 1949 from Yale University, was one of the first African American women to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematics. During her career, she developed computer programs that were used for trajectory analysis in the Mercury Project (the first U.S. manned mission in space) and in the Apollo Project (which sent U.S. astronauts to the moon).

  • Nies, Kevin A. From Sorceress to Scientist: Biographies of Women Physical Scientists. Lives of Women Scientists, Vol. 1. California Video Institute, P.O. Box 572019, Tarzana, CA, 1990. ISBN 1-880211-01-7.

"Joyce Currie Little was one of the original programmers at Convair Aircraft Corporation in the Wind Tunnel Division in the late 1950s. She wrote programs to analyze data taken from models (e.g., airplanes, automobiles, radio towers) that were tested in an 8-foot by 12-foot wind tunnel. She wrote her programs in an assembly language, SOAP, which was run on an IBM 650 with punched cards. To ensure accurate and reliable results, a room full of 37 women using Frieden calculators calculated all the check-points to confirm the computer output.

"For analysis, the data had to be physically carried to the computer, which was in another building. At one point, Convair had a major project with American Airlines to prove that an airplane could take offf in less than one mile. Due to the expense of keeping the wind tunnel going, they needed the analysis in avery short time frame. To get the results in real time, Little and a colleague of hers, Maggie DeCaro put on roller skates and, data in hand, furiously skated from the wind tunnel to the computer building—taking a shortcut through the huge model design shop—bumped whoever was on the computer, loaded the current data, ran the data analysis program, and then furiously skated back to the wind tunnel with the results. The raised some eyebrows, but successfully completed the project on time!

"Ever since she was a child, Little wanted to attend college. Through the encouragement of three people—her father, her high school mathematics teacher, and her high school basketball coach—Little went to college and majored in mathematics, with a minor in physical education. She received a B.S. degree in mathematics in 1957 from NE Louisiana State University, where a math teacher encouraged her to major in math and participate in independent study. Little received an M.S. degree in applied mathematics from San Diego State University in 1963. While she was in graduate school at San Diego, he physics professor, being interviewed on campus by Central Dynamics – Convair Aircraft Corporation, insisted she be interviewed, resulting in the offer to work in their Wind Tunnel Division, in San Diego, Calif.

"After graduating, Little left Convair and moved to Maryland. In order to care for her stepson, she turned down a good job offer from Westinghouse on the Solomon project (a predecessor of the ILIAC IV computer) and took a position at Goucher College, where she managed a computer center and taught statistics. Continuing her education. Little enrolled, mostly part-time, in the Ph.D. program at the University of Maryland, College Park, and in 1984 received interdisciplinary Ph.D. degree combining computer science, applied mathematics, management science, and educational administration.

"While pursuing her Ph.D., Little later moved on to Baltimore Junior College, where she developed their first computer curriculum and became the head of the Computer and Information Systems Department. In 1981, Little left Baltimore for a position as a computer science professor at Towson State University, where she is currently the chair of the Computer Science Department. Little has been active in the ACM: she received the Distinguished Service Award in 1992 and was inducted in the first group of ACM Fellows in 1994."

  • Quoted from: Gurer, Denise. "Pioneering Women in Computer Science." ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, Volume 34, Issue 2. ACM Press, 2002.
  • Joyce Currie Little, CCP, Ph.D.

In the 1950s, a need for a common business language was on the rise. There was a lack of compatibility across the business machines, and programming was expensive in time and cost in general. Thus in 1959, Mary K. Hawes from Burroughs Corporation initiated a meeting between users and manufacturers to develop specifications for a common business language, which evolved into what is known today as COBOL (COmmon Business Oriented Language).

  • Gurer, Denise. "Pioneering Women in Computer Science." ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, Volume 34, Issue 2. ACM Press, 2002.

Alexandra Illmer Forsythe studied mathematics in college and graduate school, and then became interested in computing. During the 1960's and 1970's, she co-authored a series of textbooks on computer science, published by Wiley & Sons and Academic Press. Her first was the first textbook written in CS. Among her books were:

  • A.I. Forsythe, T.A. Keenan, E. I. Organick, and W. Stenberg, Computer Science: A First Course. Wiley & Sons, 1969 (1st ed.), 1975 (2nd ed.)

  • E.I. Organick, A.I. Forsythe, and R.P.Plummer, Programming Language Structures. Academic Press, 1978.

Jean E. Sammet received her B.A. and M.A. in Math from Mount Holyoke College in 1948 and University of Illinoise at Urbana-Champaign in 1949, respectively.

Sammet managed the first scientific programming group for Sperry Gyroscope Co. from 1955-1958. From 1958-1961, she worked for Sylvania Electric Products, where she served as a key member of the committee that created COBOL.

In 1961, Sammet joined IBM to manage the Boston Programming center. There, she developed FORMAC, the first popular language to be used for working with nonnumeric algebraic expressions. In the '70s, she switched to IBM's Federal Systems Division, where she eventually became the Software Technology Manager for the division (in 1979). She handled IBM's Ada-related activities.

Sammet has a slew of other achievements. Her book, "PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES: History and Fundamentals" became a classic after being published in 1969. She also received an honorary D.Sc. from Mount Holyoke in 1978. Very actively involved in ACM, Sammet held positions of President, Vice-President, Chair of SIGPLAN (Special Interest Group on Programming Languages), Editor-in-Chief for two ACM publications, and was an organizer for conferences and other programs.

Sammet also taught one of the first graduate programming courses in the United States at Adelphi College at the time of 1956-1958.

  • Gurer, Denise. "Pioneering Women in Computer Science." ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, Volume 34, Issue 2. ACM Press, 2002.
  • IEEE Computer Society

"1st observation of microwave emission without the presence of an external field (1967), Fellow American Physical Society, Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow Society of Automotive Engineers, IEEE Fellow 1975, Member National Academy of Engineering."

"Sister Mary Kenneth Keller, from Cleveland, Ohio, was one of the first women, and very likely the first woman, to receive a Ph.D. degree in computer science in the United States. Keller entered the Sisters of Charity, a Catholic religious order, in 1932 and professed her vows in 1940. Later, she studied at DePaul University, where she received a B.S. degree in mathematics and an M.S. degree in mathematics and physics. In 1965, she received a Ph.D. degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin. Her dissertation work involved constructing algorithms that performed analytic differentiation on algebraic expression, written in CDC FORTRAN 63.

"As a graduate student, Keller also studied at Dartmouth, Purdue, and the University of Michigan. At Dartmouth, the university broke the "men only" rule and allowed her to work in the computer center, where she participated in the development of BASIC.

"After receiving her Ph.D. degree, Keller accepted an offer of a faculty position at Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa. Keller founded the Computer Science Department there and chaired it for 20 years. She also established a master's degree program for computer applications in education.

"Keller felt that women should be involved in computer science and especially in the field of information specialist. In her words, 'We're having an information explosion, among others, and it's certainly obvious that information is of no use unless it's available.' Keller's vision extended eyond education and reached toward artificial intelligence. 'For the first time, we can now mechanically simulate the cognitive process. We can make studies in artificial intelligence. Beyond that, this mechanism [the computer] can be used to assist humans in learning. As we are going to have more mature students in greater numbers as time goes on, this type of teaching will probably be increasingly important.' Sister Mary Keller died at the age of 71 but has left a legacy of computers and education at Clarke College."

  • Quoted from: Gurer, Denise. "Pioneering Women in Computer Science." ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, Volume 34, Issue 2. ACM Press, 2002.

"Ford Professor of Engineering in the MIT School of Engineering’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department, Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award 1996, IEEE John von Neumann Medal 2004, 2nd woman to win ACM’s A. M. Turing Award 2008, 1st US woman to be awarded a PhD from a computer science department in 1968, ACM Fellow 1996, SWE Achievement Award 1996."

"Joan Margaret Winters began working in Computer Services at Cornell University in 1970. She later became Coordinator for User Support, a position that included managing the office's consulting and educational functions. While at Cornell Winters also designed and implemented SPINDEX II applications for the Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. In 1980 Winters took a position as a scientific programmer in SLAC Computing Services at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.

In the mid-1970s Winters became active in SHARE, an International Business Machines (IBM) computer user group. In 1976 she joined SHARE's Human Factors Project, a group dedicated to educating members of SHARE and employees of IBM about the importance of human factors in the design of hardware and, especially, software and conducting research into human factors and software appraisal tools. Winters became deputy manager of the project in 1978 and served as project manager from 1983 to 1987. She also served on the Interactive Systems (INTERSYS) Task Force from 1979-1982 and was a primary author of the task force's report. She became vice chair of the ASCII/EPCDIC Committee (later, a task force) in 1987 and manager of the Integrated Technology Group in 1988. Winters also belonged to the Human Factors Society and the Association for Computing Machinery."

Quoted from: Joan M. Winters Papers (CBI 22), Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Erna Schneider earned a B.A. with honors in medieval history from Wellesley College, and later a Ph.D. in the philosophy and foundations of mathematics from Yale University. In 1954, after teaching for a number of years at Swarthmore College, she began a research career at Bell Laboratories. While there, she invented a computerized switching system for telephone traffic, to replace existing hard-wired, mechanical switching equipment. For this ground-breaking achievement -- the principles of which are still used today -- she was awarded one of the first software patents ever issued (Patent #3,623,007, Nov. 23, 1971) . At Bell Labs, she became the first female supervisor of a technical department.

"Karen Spärck Jones was born in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England. Her father was Owen Jones, a lecturer in chemistry, and her mother was Ida Spärck, a Norwegian who moved to Britain during World War II. Spärck Jones was educated at a grammar school and then Girton College, Cambridge from 1953 to 1956, reading History. Initially she became a school teacher.

"She worked at Cambridge's Computer Laboratory from 1974, and retired in 2002, holding the post of Professor of Computers and Information. She continued to work in the Computer Laboratory until shortly before her death. Her main research interests, since the late 1950s, were natural language processing and information retrieval. One of her most important contributions was the concept of inverse document frequency (IDF) weighting in information retrieval, which she introduced in a 1972 paper. IDF is used in most search engines today, usually as part of the tf-idf weighting scheme.

"Prof. Spärck Jones was a Fellow of the British Academy, of which she was Vice-President in 2000-02. She was also a Fellow of both the AAAI and the ECCAI and was President of the Association for Computational Linguistics in 1994. She received several awards for her research including the Gerard Salton Award (1988), the ASIS&T Award of Merit (2002), the ACL Lifetime Achievement Award (2004), the BCS Lovelace Medal (2007) and the ACM-AAAI Allen Newell Award (2007)."

"founder and CEO of ASK computers (1972-1991)."

"Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University."

"IBM computer languages FORMAC and COBOL, 1st woman ACM President 1974, ACM Fellow 1994."

"Mead & Conway revolution in VLSI design, invention of generalized dynamic instruction handling, IEEE Fellow 1985, Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award 1990."

"co-developer of Smalltalk at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, ACM President 1984, ACM Fellow 1994, WITI Hall of Fame 2010."

During World War II, a large number of female mathematicians were employed as "computers" to perform calculations necessary to create firing and bombing tables. Alice Burks was one of 75 female "computers" working at the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Engineering. Eventually, the need to perform the calculations more rapidly led to the development of the ENIAC, the world's first electronic digital computer.

Alice Burks has coauthored numerous articles on ENIAC and the history of computers with her husband, Arthur Burks, a computer scientist who was part of the ENIAC team.

"Radia Joy Perlman is a software designer and network engineer sometimes referred to as the "Mother of the Internet". She is most famous for her invention of the spanning-tree protocol, while working for Digital Equipment Corporation, which is fundamental to the operation of network bridges. She also made large contributions to many other areas of network design and standardization such as link-state protocols, including TRILL, which she invented to correct some of the short-comings of spanning-trees. She obtained a Bachelor's, Master's in Mathematics, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT. Her doctoral thesis at MIT addressed the issue of routing in the presence of malicious network failures.

"Perlman is the author of one textbook on networking and coauthor of one textbook on network security. She is currently employed by Intel. She holds more than fifty patents from Sun alone."

Perlman received many awards.

"Born in New York City, Goldwasser obtained her B.S. (1979) in mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University, and M.S. (1981) and PhD (1983) in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. She joined MIT in 1983, and in 1997 became the first holder of the RSA Professorship. She is a member of the Theory of Computation group at MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

"Goldwasser's research areas include computational complexity theory, cryptography and computational number theory. She is the co-inventor of zero-knowledge proofs, which probabilistically and interactively demonstrate the validity of an assertion without conveying any additional knowledge, and are a key tool in the design of cryptographic protocols. Her work in complexity theory includes the classification of approximation problems, showing that some problems in NP remain hard even when only an approximate solution is needed."

"[Among her numerous awards,] Goldwasser has twice won the Gödel Prize in theoretical computer science. Other awards include the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award (1996) for outstanding young computer professional of the year and the RSA Award in Mathematics (1998) for outstanding mathematical contributions to cryptography."

"IBM Fellow, 1st woman to earn a PhD in computer science at MIT, MIT Professor of electrical engineering and computer science, ACM Fellow, Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, WITI Hall of Fame 2000."

"Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision Award – Social Impact 2007, IEEE Fellow 1993, Purdue University Dean of Engineering, IEEE President 2007."

Anita Borg was born on January 17, 1949 and was one of the few female computer scientists with a PH.D in 1981 when she received her graduate degree from New York University. After attending an industry conference in 1987 she realized how few women attended conferences so she began Systers, an email list community of mentors providing information and support for women in computing. She also was the founding director of the Institute of Women and Technology later renamed in her honor to the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. The Anita Borg Institue aims to (from their site) "Increase the impact of women on all aspects of technology, to increase the positive impact of technology on the lives of the world's women, and to help communities, industry, education and government benefit from these increases." In addition, she also started a women's technical conference with Dr. Telle Whitney called the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. Anita also received various awards including the Augusta Ada Lovelace Award for her work with women in computing by the Association for Women in Computing, one of being named as one of the Top 100 Women in Computing by Open Computing Magazine and was appointed by President Bill Clinton on the Presidential Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering, and Technology.

Information from Wikipedia and the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology.

"5th president of Harvey Mudd College (1st woman in that role) since 2006, previously Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University, 2002 ACM President, ACM Fellow 1996, Canadian Information Processing Society founding Fellow 2006."

"President and CEO of Yahoo! (2009-2011), previously Chairman, President, and CEO at Autodesk (1992-2009), WITI Hall of Fame 1997."

"Dr. Ochoa has logged over 978 hours in space, earning the US Distinguished Service Medal, Exceptional Service Medal, Outstanding Leadership Medal, and four NASA Space Flight Medals. 1st Hispanic woman in space. She designed optical systems for Sandia National Laboratory and at NASA’s Ames Research Center developed computer systems designed for aeronautical expeditions. Deputy Director of the Johnson Space Center (Houston, TX)."

"Professor of Computer Science, University of Southampton, UK, 2008 ACM President, 2009 Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE), 2009 elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), ACM Fellow 2010."

"Founding Chief Technology Officer of One Laptop per Child (OLPC) 2005-2008, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Pixel Qi 2008-present, WITI Hall of Fame 2008, ABI Women of Vision award for Innovation, 2011."

"Associate Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, University of Colorado, Co-author of the best-selling UNIX System Administration Handbook (Prentice Hall, 1995)."

"Portuguese Computer Scientist and Roboticist, Herbert A. Simon Professor, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, President of the International RoboCup Federation. Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, National Science Foundation CAREER award (1995), CMU Allen Newell Medal for Excellence in Research (1997), IEEE Fellow 2011, AAAS Fellow 2011."

"University of California at Santa Cruz Chancellor 2005-2006, AAAS Fellow, IEEE Fellow 2004, honored in the naming of the ABI “Denice Dentor Emerging Leader Award”."

"CEO Hewlett-Packard 1999-2005."

"CEO and Co-founder of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, Bell Labs Fellow Award (1996), WITI Hall of Fame (2007)."

"RSA Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, and of computer science and applied mathematics at Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award 1996."

"leadership in bridging the fields of information retrieval and human computer interaction, ACM Fellow 2006, ACM SIGIR Salton Award 2009-lifetime achievement in IR."

"VMWare co-founder and CEO (1998-2008)."

"Professor and Chair of Computer Science at Cornell University, ACM Fellow 1998."

"Chairwoman of Huawei Technologies Board since 1999."

"pioneer of social robotics at MIT Media Lab, US Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigators Award."

"Evan Pugh Professorship Pennsylvania State University, ACM Distinguished Service Award, IEEE Fellow 1994, ACM Fellow 1996, National Academy of Engineering member 2003, 2005 ACM Distinguished Service Award, 2006 Computing Research Association Distinguished Service Award, 2007 Anita Borg Technical Leadership Award, American Academy of Arts and Sciences member 2009."

"President’s Professor of Computer Science (former CS Department Head), Carnegie Mellon University, Assistant Director, Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate, National Science Foundation, IEEE Fellow 2003, ACM Fellow 1998."

"President Oracle Corporation since 2004, CFO Oracle (2005-2008, again since 2011), Member Oracle Board since 2001."

"Cisco Chief Technology Officer, former Motorola Chief Technology Officer (Semiconductor Products), Motorola’s 1st female executive, Distinguished Alumni Award from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi 2004, WITI Hall of Fame 2007."

"the ‘Mother of the Internet’, 1st Sun Microsystems female Fellow, 1st Anita Borg Institute Woman of Vision – Innovation award winner 2005, IEEE Fellow 2008."

"credited with starting the entire field of Affective Computing, MIT Director of Affective Computing Research, IEEE Fellow 2005."

"1st woman to receive the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from the College of Engineering of U.C. Berkeley 2005, ACM Fellow 1993, EFF Pioneer Award 1998, ACM President 1998."

"Co-Founder of Linksys (1988-2003), 1st Anita Borg Institute Woman of Vision – Leadership award winner 2005."

"Frances Elizabeth 'Fran' Allen (born 1932) is an American computer scientist and pioneer in the field of optimizing compilers. Her achievements include seminal work in compilers, code optimization, and parallelization. She also had a role in intelligence work on programming languages and security codes for the National Security Agency.

Allen grew up on a farm in upstate New York and graduated from The New York State College for Teachers (now State University of New York at Albany) with a B.Sc. degree in mathematics in 1954. She earned an M.Sc. degree in mathematics at the University of Michigan in 1957 and began teaching school in Peru, New York. Deeply in debt, she joined IBM on July 15, 1957 and planned to stay only until her school loans were paid, but ended up staying for her entire 45-year career.

Allen became the first female IBM Fellow in 1989. In 2007 the IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Award was created in her honor. In 2006 she became the first woman to win the Turing Award."

Quoted from: Wikipedia

"Xerox Chief Technology Officer since 2006, IEEE Fellow 2005, WITI Hall of Fame 2011, Royal Flemish Academy for Ats & Sciences Member, WITI Hall of Fame 2011."

"Professor Massachusetts Institute of Technology: NEC Professor of Software Science and Engineering in the EECS department and heads the Theory of Distributed Systems research group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, ACM Fellow 1997, Dijkstra Prize 2007, Member National Academy of Engineering."

"Barbara Liskov (born November 7, 1939) is a prominent computer scientist. She is currently the Ford Professor of Engineering in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She earned her bachelor's degree in mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley in 1961, and became the first woman in the United States to be awarded a PhD in Computer Science, in 1968 from Stanford University.

Barbara Liskov has led many significant projects, including the design and implementation of CLU, the first programming language to support data abstraction, Argus, the first high-level language to support implementation of distributed programs, and Thor, an object-oriented database system.

Liskov received the 2008 Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for her work in the design of programming languages and software methodology that led to the development of object-oriented programming. The ACM cited her contributions to the practical and theoretical foundations of 'programming language and system design, especially related to data abstraction, fault tolerance, and distributed computing.'"

Quoted from: Wikipedia

"Sun Microsystems Distinguished Engineer, Anita Borg Institute Woman of Vision – Social Impact award winner 2008, American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, Association for Computing Machinery Fellow 2011."

"Hewlett-Packard CEO 2011-present, CEO eBay 1998-2008, candidate for Governor of California 2009."

"1st woman President and CEO of IBM (2012-present)."