Women in computing

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Computer scientist Montse Maritxalar of the University of the Basque Country in 2008.

Historically, women in computing have had an effect on the evolution of the industry, with many of the first programmers during the early 20th century being female.[1] In the 2000s, women have also had leadership roles in computer companies, such as Elizabeth Holmes, Founder, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Theranos, Meg Whitman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Marissa Mayer, President and CEO of Yahoo! since July 2012 and previously a long-time executive, usability leader, and key spokesperson for Google.


Ada Lovelace was the first person to publish an algorithm intended to be executed by the first modern computer, the Analytical Engine created by Charles Babbage. Because of this, she is often regarded as the first computer programmer,[2][3][4] though this statement, as well as others about Ada's mathematical abilities and involvement with Babbage's project, has been criticized.

Grace Hopper was the first person to create a compiler for a programming language and one of the first programmers of Mark I computer, an electro-mechanical computer based on Analytical Engine. The regularly working programmers of the ENIAC computer in 1944, were six female mathematicians; Marlyn Meltzer, Betty Holberton, Kathleen Antonelli, Ruth Teitelbaum, Jean Bartik, and Frances Spence. Adele Goldstine was one of the teachers and trainers of the six original programmers of ENIAC computer. Adele died of cancer in 1964 at the age of 44.

Adele Goldberg was one of the seven programmers that developed Smalltalk in 1970's, one of the first object-oriented programming languages, the base of current graphic user interface, that has its roots in 1968's The Mother of All Demos by Douglas Engelbart. Smalltalk was later used by Apple to launch Apple Lisa in 1983, the first personal computer with GUI, and one year later its Macintosh. Windows 1.0, based on the same principles, was launched a few months later in 1985.

Worldwide timeline[edit]

Ada Lovelace, is often considered to be the first computer programmer.

The Turing award recipients[edit]

The A.M. Turing Award, sometimes referred to as the "Nobel Prize" of Computing, was named in honor of Alan Mathison Turing (1912–1954), a British mathematician and computer scientist. The Turing award has been won by 3 women between 1966 and 2015.[30]

Notable organizations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Grurer, Denis (1995) "Pioneering Women in Computer Science" ACM.
  2. ^ a b Fuegi, J.; Francis, J. (2003). Lovelace & Babbage and the creation of the 1843 'notes'. Annals of the History of Computing. 25. pp. 16–26. doi:10.1109/MAHC.2003.1253887. 
  3. ^ Phillips, Ana Lena (November–December 2011). "Crowdsourcing gender equity: Ada Lovelace Day, and its companion website, aims to raise the profile of women in science and technology". American Scientist. 99 (6): 463. 
  4. ^ "Ada Lovelace honoured by Google doodle". The Guardian. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Hamblin, Jacob Darwin (2005). Science in the early twentieth century : an encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. pp. 181–184. ISBN 9781851096657. 
  6. ^ Grete Hermann (1926). "Die Frage der endlich vielen Schritte in der Theorie der Polynomideale". Mathematische Annalen. 95: 736–788. doi:10.1007/bf01206635. 
  7. ^ Gumbrecht, Jamie (8 February 2011). "Rediscovering WWII's female 'computers'". CNN. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012.
  8. ^ Copeland, Jack B. (2010). Colossus: The Secrets of Bletchley Park's Code Breaking Computers. Oxford University Press. 
  9. ^ Grier, David Alan (1998). "The Math Tables Project of the Work Projects Administration: The Reluctant Start of the Computing Era". IEEE Ann. Hist. Comput. 20 (3): 33–50. doi:10.1109/85.707573. ISSN 1058-6180. 
  10. ^ Light, Jennifer S. (1999). "When Computers Were Women". Technology and Culture. 40 (3): 469, 455–483. 
  11. ^ "Irma Wyman". Michigan Engineer, Spring 2010: Women in Engineering. Retrieved 2011-05-28. 
  12. ^ "bug". Catb.org. 1947-09-09. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  13. ^ Lamb, Evelyn. "Mathematics, Live: A Conversation with Evelyn Boyd Granville". Scientific American Blog Network. Retrieved 2016-11-02. 
  14. ^ Bird, Peter J. LEO: the First Business Computer. Wokingham: Hasler Publishing Limited. ISBN 0-9521651-0-4. 
  15. ^ "JPL Computers". NASA JPL. 
  16. ^ Conway, Erik (27 March 2007). "Women Made Early Inroads at JPL". NASA/JPL. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. 
  17. ^ "http://delivery.acm.org/10.1145/1200000/1198372/p277-marcotty.pdf?ip=" (PDF). doi:10.1145/1200000/1198372/p277-marcotty.pdf.  External link in |title= (help)
  18. ^ Ball, Joan (2012). Just Me. p. 318. ISBN 1312560142. 
  19. ^ Steel, Martha Vickers (2001). "Women in Computing: Experiences and Contributions Within the Emerging Computing Industry" (PDF). Computing History Museum. 
  20. ^ "UW-Madison Computer Science Ph.D.s Awarded, May 1965 - August 1970". UW-Madison Computer Sciences Department. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  21. ^ NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe has commented saying "The concepts she and her team created became the building blocks for modern software engineering. It's an honor to recognize Ms. Hamilton for her extraordinary contributions to NASA.".
  22. ^ NASA Press Release "NASA Honors Apollo Engineer" (September 03, 2003)
  23. ^ Michael Braukus NASA News "NASA Honors Apollo Engineer" (Sept. 3, 2003)
  24. ^ Oakes, Elizabeth H. (2002). International encyclopedia of women scientists. New York, NY: Facts on File. pp. 136–137. ISBN 0816043817. 
  25. ^ Parker, Donn B.; Nycum, Susan (1973). Computer Abuse. Stanford Research Institute. 
  26. ^ Cortada, James W. (2007). The Digital Hand, Vol 3 : How Computers Changed the Work of American Public Sector Industries. Oxford University Press. pp. 133–134, 390. ISBN 978-0-19-803709-5. 
  27. ^ "DoD INTERNET HOST TABLE SPECIFICATION". Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  28. ^ Rosen, Rebecca J.. (2014-03-05) The First Woman to Get a Ph.D. in Computer Science From MIT - Rebecca J. Rosen. The Atlantic. Retrieved on 2014-03-25.
  29. ^ "Lemelson-MIT Program". Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  30. ^ a b "Official ACM Turing award website". amturing.acm.org. ACM. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  31. ^ ACM Awards 1996, ACM.
  32. ^ "Lucy Sanders". International Computer Science Institute. 2016. 
  33. ^ Kottoor, Naveena (2012-05-18). "BBC News - Ruchi Sanghvi: Facebook's pioneer woman". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  34. ^ "Biography of President Maria Klawe". Harvey Mudd College. Retrieved 03/17/2017.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  35. ^ Rieback, M., Crispo, B., Tanenbaum, A., (2006), " Is Your Cat Infected with a Computer Virus?", Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  36. ^ "First Female to Win a Microsoft Apprentice of the Year Award". MarketWatch. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  37. ^ "Association for Women in Computing". Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  38. ^ https://www.girldevelopit.com/about
  39. ^ https://girlswhocode.com/about-us/
  40. ^ https://www.ncwit.org/about
  41. ^ "The Women's Technology Empowerment Centre – W.TEC". Retrieved 26 October 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Cooper, Joel; Weaver, Kimberlee D. (2003). Gender and Computers: Understanding the Digital Divide. Philadelphia: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN 0-8058-4427-9. 
  • Galpin, Vashti (2002). "Women in computing around the world". ACM SIGCSE Bulletin. 34 (2): 94–100. doi:10.1145/543812.543839. 
  • Light, Jennifer S. (1999). "When Computers Were Women". Technology and Culture. 40 (3): 455–483. 
  • Margolis, Jane; Fisher, Allan (2002). Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0262632690. 
  • Misa, Thomas J., ed. (2010). Gender Codes: Why Women Are Leaving Computing. Wiley/IEEE Computer Society Press. ISBN 978-0-470-59719-4. 
  • Moses, L. E. (1993). "Our computer science class rooms: Are they friendly to female students?". SIGCSE Bulletin. 25 (3). pp. 3–12. 
  • Newitz, Annalee (ed.); Anders, Charlie (ed.) (2006). She's Such a Geek: Women Write About Science, Technology, and Other Nerdy Stuff. Seal Press. ISBN 978-1580051903. 
  • Varma, Roli; Galindo-Sanchez, Vanessa (2006). "Native American Women in Computing" (PDF). University of New Mexico. 

External links[edit]