American Talent

The Greatest That Made It Great
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COBOL was developed in part by Grace Hopper

The life of Grace Hopper is a powerful example of the transformative potential of American ingenuity, leadership, and the pioneering spirit. Her contributions paved the path for more accessible programming languages and fundamentally altered the way we think about computers.
Hopper was an industrial game-changer and gender-role pioneer who did far more than merely change the face of computer science. Her life exemplifies the far-reaching effects of a single person who isn't afraid to question convention and test the limits of what's possible.

Few people have had as much of an impact as Rear Admiral Grace Hopper in the history of science and technology. She has left an indelible mark on the history of computing as a co-developer of the COBOL programming language and a pioneer for women in technology. Hopper's breakthrough contributions and their lasting influence on today's digital age are explored in this article, which combines the in-depth and inquisitive style of ABC's 60 Minutes with the BBC's wide historical coverage.

Growing Up and Answering the Call
Grace Murray Hopper, a New York City native who was born in 1906, showed early promise in the fields of mathematics and engineering. She went to Vassar and Yale to study mathematics, which she loved, and ultimately earned a doctorate degree in the subject. After the United States entered World War II, Hopper joined the U.S. Naval Reserve and was set to work on the Harvard Mark I computer out of a sense of duty.

An Era of Programming Revolution: COBOL's Origins
The creation of COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language) in the late 1950s is often regarded as Hopper's most significant contribution to the area of computer science. COBOL was the first widely used high-level programming language, and its goal was to make computer programming more accessible by making it more human.

The promotion of the creation of machine-independent programming languages was possibly her most significant contribution to the field of computer science. This ground-breaking concept gave rise to COBOL, a widely-used computer language with an English-like grammar.

Forerunner amongst women in technology
Hopper was an early pioneer among influential women in the field of computing. Hopper not only made significant contributions but also rose to a position of leadership, becoming a rear admiral in the United States Navy during a time when few women worked in the area.

Her achievements show that women shouldn't be held back from making substantial scientific and technological contributions, and they have opened the path for future generations of women in technology.

Significant Influence
So, how exactly did Hopper help make America great? She had a pivotal role in the 20th century's technological revolution. As a result of her efforts with COBOL, business computing expanded, laying the groundwork for today's information economy.

In addition, Hopper will be remembered for more than only her technological achievements. Her combination of grit and imagination made her an inspiration to numerous people, who took to heart her famous words: "The most dangerous phrase in the language is, 'We've always done it this way.'"

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