Assignment 6- Comparing Scientists: Grace Hopper vs Alan Turing

The male scientist I chose to research to compare my female scientist, Grace Hopper, to is Alan Turring. I chose to research Alan Turing because he was a famous scientist within the computer science and mathematics field. Another reason I chose to research Alan Turing was because was born only six years after Grace Hopper. I thought it would be appropriate to research a male scientist that was alive and worked in about the same era as my female scientist. Alan Turing and Grace Hopper were both very interesting people to research and present information about.

 

Comparing and contrasting my scientists that I chose to research:

Grace Hopper

  • 1906-1992
  • Born and raised in New York
  • Had supporting parents during childhood
  • Education: Vassar College, Yale University
  • Science field: computer scientist
  • Worked in the war, World War II as computer scientist
  • Worked on “Mark I” computer at Harvard
  • Invented the COBOL system
  • Received over 65 honors and awards in her lifetime

 

Alan Turing

  • 1912-1954
  • Born and raised in London
  • Parents put him and his brother in foster homes. His parents did not support him during his life.
  • Education: Sherborne School, King’s College
  • Science field: mathematics and computer science
  • Worked in the war, World War II, to help break the Enigma codes used by the Nazis
  • Answered the question “Entscheidungsproblem” and clarified that there is no single method that can solve all mathematical problems
  • Invented the Turing Machine
  • On June 7, 1954- committed suicide by eating an apple that contained cyanide

 

I believe that gender definitely influences the career of any computer scientist. The male species dominates the computer science population. Therefore, male scientists are more easily recognized and publicly known. Grace Hopper put her heart into working on her inventions and projects as a computer scientist which allowed her to receive over 65 honors and awards. However, when researching both scientists, I found there was much more information provided about Alan Turing. There were multiple books and articles written about Alan Turing, however, when finding information about Grace Hopper, I was only able to find a few articles. It is true that Alan Turing was a incredible scientist and invented outstanding technology, however, I believe that Grace Hopper should be just as publicly recognized as he is. In conclusion, gender influences the careers of computer scientists and allows men to succeed more efficiently and be more widely credited than females.

 

Here is a link to an interesting article I discovered that explains and discusses the male to female ratio in the computer science field. Feel free to read and enjoy!

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/16/business/16digi.html

 

Bibliography

“Grace Murray Hopper.” Notable Women Scientists. Gale Group Inc. 1999.

Gray, Paul. “Alan Turing. (Cover story).” Time 153.12 (1999): 147. Academic Search          Complete. EBSCO. Web. 24 Oct. 2011.

Orlando, Maria. “Amazing Grace.” Poptronics 3.7 (2002): 26. Computers & Applied

            Sciences Complete. EBSCO. Web. 12 Sept. 2011.

Stross, Randal. “What Has Driven Women Out of Computer Science?”. The New York        Times. November 15, 2008. Web. 24 October 2011.

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