◀ ▲ ▶History / 20th-century / Person: Hopper, Grace Brewster Murray
Person: Hopper, Grace Brewster Murray
Grace Hopper was one of the pioneers in the development of the electronic computer. She is (probably) the only mathematician to have a warship named after her.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Grace was educated at two private schools for girls, namely Graham School and Schoonmakers School both in New York City.
- Hopper was awarded her doctorate by Yale University in 1934 for a thesis New Types of Irreducibility Criteria which was supervised by Øystein Ore.
- Hopper attended New York University as a Vassar Faculty Fellow in 1941.
- Hopper wanted to join the military as soon as the United States entered World War II.
- After initial training at Midshipman's School, after which she was commissioned a Lieutenant, Hopper was assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance Computation Project at the Cruft Laboratories at Harvard University.
- Hopper became the third person to program the Mark I.
- In 1946 Hopper ended her active duty with the Navy but remained a duty reservist.
- In 1949 Hopper joined the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation as a Senior Mathematician and there she worked with John Eckert and John Mauchly on the UNIVAC computer.
- Indeed it may seem obvious to us today that this would be the route forward for computers but it was an extremely far sighted idea from Hopper.
- Thinking about how computers have developed, particularly with systems such as Mathematica and Maple available today, one sees the rather remarkable vision that Hopper had of how computers would become such an important tool for mathematicians.
- Hopper became a Systems Engineer and Director of Automatic Programming Development of the UNIVAC Division.
- Hopper was never one to hold a single job at any one time.
- The Navy and Hopper were not apart for very long for, in August 1967, she was recalled to active duty in the Navy.
- Active service in the Navy did not prevent Hopper holding academic appointments, and she was a Lecturer in Management Sciences at George Washington University between 1971 and 1978.
- When Hopper retired from the Navy in August 1986, at 80 years of age, she was the oldest active duty officer in the United States.
- She had reached the rank of Rear Admiral, being promoted to the rank of Commodore in a White House ceremony in December 1983, then becoming Rear Admiral Hopper in 1985.
- At a celebration held in Boston on the USS Constitution to celebrate her retirement, Hopper was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award possible by the Department of Defense.
- In her long career Hopper received so many awards that it would be impossible to note more than a few in this article.
- Hopper was named the first computer science Man of the Year by the Data Processing Management Association in 1969.
- Hopper collected a remarkable number of honorary degrees, receiving at least 37 between 1972 and 1987.
- In 1991 President George Bush awarded Hopper the National Medal of Technology.
Born 9 December 1906, New York, USA. Died 1 January 1992, Arlington, Virginia, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Origin Usa, Women
Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive