Tag: COBOL

Google Doodle: Grace Hopper

Grace the Original Hopper

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Today’s Google Doodle is an animation of Grace Hopper sitting on her computer, using COBOL  to print out her age.  Google is celebrating the 107th birthday of Grace Hopper, the “mother” of the COBOL computer language.

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“‘all Navy’, but when you reach inside, you find a ‘Pirate’ dying to be released”
– Jay Eliot

Just toward the end of animation a moth was seen coming out of the computer; that was a reference to Grace popularising the term “debugging”.    Apparently whilst in the Navy and working on a Mark II computer, it was found that a moth was stuck in the relay, which was impending the  system, quick as a flash Grace said they are debugging the system.

The remains of the moth can be seen at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.

Grace lived a full and hectic life.

At a very young age, she showed a very inquisitive mind.  At the age of seven, she tried to find out how clock works and managed to disassemble seven of them much to her mother’s consternation.  In the end she was only allowed to touch one clock.  LOL

Grace was a Vassar girl but at 16 she was declined entry to the College because she had a low score in Latin.  She got admitted the next year and went on to earn bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Physics.  She then went to Yale University and became a history maker for becoming  the first woman to graduate with a doctorate in Maths in Yale’s long history.

Grace Brewster Murray, as she was, married Vincent Foster Hopper, a New York professor in 1930.  The marriage ended in divorce in 1945.  Grace never married again thus retaining her ex-husband’s surname.  Grace Hopper has a memorable ring to it.

Grace Hopper, to me, was like a grasshopper.  She leaped from one success to another.  She leaped from one awards to the next.

Even her retirement was one of the  longest hopping in history.  She first retired at 60 but was recalled almost immediately and then retired again and then recalled and then retired and then recalled………

Grace ended up working until her death at 85.

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