Assignment 2: Summary on Grace Hopper

My name is Caroline Arnold and the woman scientist I have selected to research is Grace Murray Hopper. She is known as “the Mother of the COBOL” and “Amazing Grace.” Grace Brewster Murray was born on December 9,1906 in New York City. She was the oldest of three kids. Throughout her childhood, Grace always was curious about mechanics and machinery. At age seven, her curiosity led her to take apart the alarm clocks in her house so she could figure out and discover how they tick. Grace studied math and physics at Vassar College in 1924 then went on to continue her studies at Yale. While working her first job as a teacher at Vassar College, she met and married her husband, Vincent Hopper. Grace had a family history of serving in the military. In 1943, during World War II, she joined the U.S. Navy. In 1944, she was positioned as a lieutenant and assigned to the Bureau of Ordinance Computation Project at Harvard University. She worked on the first full-scale digital computer. After serving in the Navy, Grace felt the need to move on and begin to work jobs that were more computer-science oriented. She continued to help develop the COBOL (Common Business- Oriented Language). Her invention is appreciated enormously because it is still used today. COBOL is a software system of language that is more easily understood rather than a person having to interpret mathematical notations. COBOL is still used today and is a huge factor that helps keep businesses running. Throughout her life, Grace’s intelligence and skill with computers led her to be very successful and receive over 65 honors and awards. Grace is “remembered as a charming, tiny, white-haired lady in a Navy Uniform by her comrades and students, she was a feisty, brilliant leader with a passion for change” (Orlando “An Inspirational Teacher” 28).  She died on January 1, 1992 in Arlington, Virginia and was buried with full Naval honors. Her work, intelligence, and inventions are and will be appreciated by many people all over the world.

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