Today is the beginning of Computer Science Education Week. President Obama is even on board! I saw a number of tweets about Grace Hopper this morning, a programming pioneer. Among other things, compilers are credited to her. Computer Science Education Week coincides with Grace Hopper’s birthday (not a coincidence!)
The Anita Borg Institute hosts the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference (see: http://gracehopper.org/). The conference is for women in computing (computer science, IT, etc.). I was on a panel on research and opportunities in security at the 2012 conference. It was a terrific experience. I talked to a large audience full of women (a first for me). I also had a nice lunch with other academics, and met several incredibly supportive male colleagues. The best part of all was attending the career fair. I was completely overwhelmed with how every major software and internet company was there courting the women. I should have scanned in my program from the conference–it was full of ads from these companies specifically tailored to multi-cultural women (the ads weren’t pink and frilly, they were geeky and great!) I have never felt that women were so welcome and wanted in computing as I did that day. I will never forget it.
Back to Grace Hopper. She was once on David Letterman! Here is a 10 minute segment from the show (which I think aired back in the 1980s).
John Cook blogs about Grace Hopper in his three rules of thumb blog post(“Light travels one foot in a nanosecond”)
Grace Hopper is the google doodle today.
Grace Hopper will always have a special place in my heart. My cat is named Hopper, and not because of her jumping ability.
Here are a few things about programming and Grace Hopper from twitter: