Mary K. Hawes

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Mary K. Hawes was a computer scientist who identified the need for a common business language in accounting, which led to the development of COBOL. COBOL is short for Common Business Oriented Language. It was written to resemble ordinary English. For this new language, they wish it can be run on different brands of computers and perform some advanced accounting calculation such as payroll calculation. Hawes chaired the data descriptions subcommittee in the Short-Range Committee, the team that was initially tasked with identifying problems with the current business compilers.[1] In 1959, Hawes was a senior product planning analyst for the Electro Data Division of Burroughs Corporation.[2]

Hawes co-authored the books Optimized code generation from extended-entry decision tables published in September 1971, Feature analysis of generalized database management systems: CODASYL Systems Committee published in May 1971, and A survey of generalized database management systems published in May 1969.


  1. ^ Sammet, Jean (1981). History of Programming Languages. Academic Press. pp. 199–243. ISBN 0-12-745040-8.
  2. ^ "Burroughs' Future in Electronics - NMAA Address by Mary Hawes - 1959". Retrieved 2016-11-08.