Browse Definitions:
Definition

Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

Contributor(s): Bill Cloughley, Rachel Franke

Grace Murray Hopper (1906-1992) was a pioneer of computer science. Hopper is generally credited with developments that led to COBOL, the programming language for business applications on which the world's largest corporations ran for more than a generation. By the time of her death, Rear Admiral Grace Hopper had made many contributions to the field of software engineering and was arguably the world's most famous programmer.

After receiving her Ph.D. in mathematics at Yale, Hopper worked as an associate professor at Vassar College before joining the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1943. She went on to work as a researcher and mathematician at the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corp. and the Sperry Corporation. Having retired from the Navy after World War II, she returned in 1967 to work at the Naval Data Automation Command. Later, the U.S. Navy was to name a new destroyer after her: the U.S.S Grace Hopper, DDG-70.

At Eckerd-Mauchly, Hopper developed programs for the first large-scale digital computer, the Mark I. She also developed the first compiler, the A-O. She published the first paper on compilers in 1952. The successor to the the A-O, named FLOW-MATIC, lead to the development of the COBOL programming language. Until then programming was done using assembler language. Admiral Hopper's idea was to make a programming language closer to ordinary language so that it could be used by non-technical people, thus opening the practice of programming to the business world and freeing it from the rarefied environments of science and engineering.

Admiral Hopper remained in the Navy until 1986 and then worked as a senior consultant for DEC until shortly before her death. She was highly sought after as an enthusiastic and entertaining public speaker and educator of young programmers. Hopper was an early advocate of the use of shared code libraries and developed compiler verification software and compiler standards.

Hopper is also credited with applying the engineering term bug to computing when her team found a moth trapped in a relay of the Mark II computer. This particular "bug" was removed, taped to the log book, and now resides at the Smithsonian Institute.

This was last updated in December 2007

Continue Reading About Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces.

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

SearchSecurity

  • FIDO (Fast Identity Online)

    FIDO (Fast ID Online) is a set of technology-agnostic security specifications for strong authentication. FIDO is developed by the...

  • cryptanalysis

    Cryptanalysis is the study of ciphertext, ciphers and cryptosystems with the aim of understanding how they work and finding and ...

  • Trojan horse (computing)

    In computing, a Trojan horse is a program that appears harmless, but is, in fact, malicious.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • cloud storage provider

    A cloud storage provider, also known as a managed service provider (MSP), is a company that offers organizations and individuals ...

  • personal cloud storage (PCS)

    Personal cloud storage (PCS) enables users to store data, photos, music, videos and other files on a local network-attached ...

  • cloud SLA (cloud service-level agreement)

    A cloud SLA (cloud service-level agreement) is an agreement between a cloud service provider and a customer that ensures a ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close