From the calculator to moon-flying – as women check the technical history

From the calculator to moon-flying - as women check the technical history

Without the pioneering matter and support by women, many milestones in science and technology have not been possible or even undiscovered. Nevertheless, many pioneers remained denied the recognition of their achievements. And until today, women fight for their righteous place in society. A (small) overview of significant people from science, IT and space travel.

The cradle of programming is female. The British Mathematician Ada Lovelace is considered the first programmer of complex arithmetic operations?. As the only child of Lady and Lord Byron, she grew up in the care of her mother, which had separated for long-term quarrels for a month after Ada’s birth of her husband. She grew up under strict guidelines and her mother introduced Ada not only in natural sciences and mathematics, but at the age of 19 also in London High Society. ADA married 1834 William King, the later Earl of Lovelace.

From the calculator to moon-flying - as women check the technical history

Augusta Ada King-Noel, Countess of Lovelace (* 10. December 1815 in London; † 27. November 1852 Ebenda), here 1836 immortalized in a painting of Margaret Sarah Carpenter.

From the translation to the vision of the first computer

He supported their research urge and wrote articles in scientific libraries for them, because at the time women a use was prohibited. The visionar performance was your translation of a description of the Analytical Engine, a planned computing machine of the English mathematics professor Charles Babbage. The Italian mathematician Frederico Luigi Menabrea, had described the machine after a meeting with Babbage. Lovelace translated Menabreas’s report from the French and gained him on the suggestion of Babbage with numerous notes, through which the text grew triple.

Lovelace did not just outlined the first universal computer, but described one of the first types of programming in their plan to calculate Bernoulli numbers. However, the computing machine has never been built, so that Lovelaces Visionares work never got the deserved recognition in their lifetime and largely forgotten. Only when the first computers were built, science was found on the performance of Ada Lovelace. Today, prices, initiatives and even a programming language are named after it.

Programming as a specialized craft

The first programmers of modern computing equipment had to be less visionary, more trained specialists. Of the "Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer" (EnIAC) – Grobrechner was originally planned for ballistic calculations of the US Army, but was completed only after the Second World War and should then set calculations on coring explosions. He was served by several programmers:

The programmers of the Eniac

From the calculator to moon-flying - as women check the technical history

On the Eniac Computer: Programmer Frances Elizabeth "Betty" Holberton and a colleague in the background.

  • Kathleen Mauchly Antonelli (Geb. McNulty)
  • Marilyn Meltzer (Geb. Wescoff)
  • Frances Spence (Geb. Bilas)
  • Frances Elizabeth Holberton (Geb. Snyder)
  • Ruth Teitelbaum (Geb. Lightsman)
  • Elizabeth Jean Bartik (Geb. Jennings)
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