Dr. Dobb's is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Channels ▼

Ken North

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Emphasizing Computer Science and honoring pioneer Grace Hopper

October 17, 2009

The U.S. Congress passed a resolution this week (H. RES. 558) that designates the week of December 7 as "National Computer Science Education Week". The December 7 date is the birthday of Rear Admiral Dr. Grace Murray Hopper, a pioneer in the field of computing and a force behind the development of the COBOL language.

Grace Murray Hopper 

The text of the resolution includes:

"Whereas Grace Murray Hopper, one of the first females in the field of computer science, engineered new programming languages and pioneered standards for computer systems which laid the foundation for many advancements in computer science; and

Whereas the week of December 7, in honor of Grace Hopper's birthday, is designated as "National Computer Science Education Week":

In 1980, I was fortunate to be one of the persons attending the Fall DECUS Symposium who heard then Captain Grace Hopper deliver a memorable keynote address. Over the years I've heard plenty of conference speakers but Grace Hopper was one of the most enjoyable.

She told about a summer day in 1945 that was hot so the windows were open in the Harvard lab where she was working on the Mark I. The machine had unexpectedly gone down due to a moth found in a relay. Just at that moment, the phone rang and Secretary of War Henry Stimson wanted to know how things were going. Someone on the project, probably Howard Aiken, said "Tell him we're debugging the machine".



Related Reading

More Insights

Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.