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How the Amazing Admiral Grace Hopper Helped Win WWII

August 01, 2014

This day in computing history, the US Navy recalled Captain Grace Hopper to lead the effort to produce an easy-to-read, business-oriented computer language.

Hopper made many major contributions to computer science throughout her very long career, including what is likely the first compiler ever written, “A-0.” She appears to have also been the first to coin the word “bug” in the context of computer science, taping into her logbook a moth which had fallen into a relay of the Harvard Mark II computer. She died on January 1, 1992.

Saying the Navy recalled Hopper leads to questions: “Why her?” and “What had she done before?” This video, about a book by Kurt Beyer, explains who this incredible woman was:

Hopper and her team used a computer to determine how best to implode a sphere. That information was used in the first atomic bombs.