Today’s Google Doodle honors Grace Hopper, pioneering computer programmer who would have been 107 today had she lived (she died in 1992 at age 86). The Doodle is animated to show the big, bulky computer calculating her age:
As Engadget notes:
Prior to her work, computers were considered to be glorified calculators and were programmed with binary machine code, which kept the field limited to specialists. After working on computer tech used on the Manhattan Project during World War II, she developed the A-O system for the UNIVAC 1 in 1951, which is considered to be the first-ever computer compiler. That eventually formed the basis for COBOL, the first widely used English-like compiler that laid the foundation for most computer languages today. Hopper did further research for the Navy until the age of 79 (when she retired with the rank of rear admiral) and worked for DEC until she passed away in 1992 at the age of 85.
Now I’m not a computer geek, and haven’t written a line of code in my life, but I suspect many of you will appreciate her achievements.
Here she is on Letterman’s show close to age 80:
And Wikipedia notes that
“At the time of her retirement, she was the oldest active-duty commissioned officer [a rear admiral] in the United States Navy (79 years, eight months and five days), and aboard the oldest commissioned ship in the United States Navy (188 years, nine months and 23 days)” . . . The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) is named for her, as was the Cray XE6 “Hopper” supercomputer at NERSC.