April 10, 2020
With Women’s History Month ending in March, and most of us staying home to prevent spreading an unwelcome virus, why not read an eBook or view some streaming video to learn about famous women in the technology field? Here are three women you may want to learn more about:
- Ada Lovelace was English poet Lord Byron’s daughter and is considered by many to be the first computer programmer. Even though there were no actual computers in the early 1800s, she was able to write how it might be possible for the “Analytical Engine,” visualized by Charles Babbage, to produce calculations. The second Tuesday in October is known as Ada Lovelace Day to celebrate women who are active in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers.
- Grace Hopper is known as a developer of COBOL (a computer programming language) and was, before her retirement at the age of 79, the oldest officer in the United States Navy. In 2016, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. Streaming video and eBooks in MCPL’s collection contain interviews and fascinating facts about her remarkable career.
- Katherine Johnson was a mathematician who originally worked for the all-African American computing section at the National Advisory Committee of Aeronautics, which later became known as NASA. She is best known for her preflight trajectory checks (with a calculator and pen and paper) for Alan Shepard and John Glenn, who trusted her abilities more than they trusted the computers of the time.
Johnson’s contributions to the space program were highlighted in the book and feature film of the same name, Hidden Figures. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015. You may want to read about her and other women (Library card number needed to access this link) who have contributed to the space program and NASA.
Be sure to find out more about women in technology through the Library’s online resources, which include something for all ages—from Kids InfoBits to Science (Gale In Context).
Consumer Technology Specialist
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