Jean Jennings Bartik was one of the original programmers for the ENIAC computer. Bartik became an editor for Auerbach Publishers, an early publisher of information on high technology.
Editors Jon T. Rickman and Kim D. Todd cofounded the Jean Jennings Bartik Computing Museum at Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MO. Both helped create the Jean Jennings Bartik Scholarship for Women in STEM.
Reflecting on her own tenure as White House press secretary and her work as a political analyst, media commentator, and former consultant to NBC's The West Wing, Dee Dee Myers blends memoir and social history with a call to action, as she assesses the crucial but long-ignored strengths that female leaders bring to the table. With intelligence, courage, candor, and wit, she looks at the obstacles women must overcome and the traps they must avoid on the path to success, and she challenges us to imagine a not-too-distant future with more women standing tall in the top ranks of politics, business, science, and academia.
Hatton’s entrepreneurial drive became evident in 1957 when she developed the first nursery school in Western Michigan, the first child care company to go public in 1970, and the first multi-state computerized USDA child care food program in 1976. Encouraged by a supportive family and a dynamic mentor, Hatton also established herself in media ventures that included FM radio, UHF television, and cable networks.
Hatton brought her leadership experience to state and national politics as well: she was a candidate for Michigan’s new State Board of Education in 1964, Republican County Chairman in President Gerald Ford’s Fifth District, and a delegate to the 1968 GOP national convention in Miami. And she logged over a decade of ocean sailing, charting the course with a talented lifelong sailor.
In this personal narrative, Hatton hopes to encourage other women to value independent economic status, be entrepreneurial, take risks, and march to their own drum.
Award-winning historian Martha Hodes brings us into the extraordinary world of Eunice Connolly. Born white and poor in New England, Eunice moved from countryside to factory city, worked in the mills, then followed her husband to the Deep South. When the Civil War came, Eunice's brothers joined the Union army while her husband fought and died for the Confederacy. Back in New England, a widow and the mother of two, Eunice barely got by as a washerwoman, struggling with crushing depression. Four years later, she fell in love with a black sea captain, married him, and moved to his home in the West Indies. Following every lead in a collection of 500 family letters, Hodes traced Eunice's footsteps and met descendants along the way. This story of misfortune and defiance takes up grand themes of American history—opportunity and racism, war and freedom—and illuminates the lives of ordinary people in the past.
A Library Journal Best Book of the Year and a selection of the Book of the Month Club, Literary Guild, and Quality Paperback Book Club.
Today, women earn a relatively low percentage of computer science degrees and hold proportionately few technical computing jobs. Meanwhile, the stereotype of the male “computer geek” seems to be everywhere in popular culture. Few people know that women were a significant presence in the early decades of computing in both the United States and Britain. Indeed, programming in postwar years was considered woman's work (perhaps in contrast to the more manly task of building the computers themselves). In Recoding Gender, Janet Abbate explores the untold history of women in computer science and programming from the Second World War to the late twentieth century. Demonstrating how gender has shaped the culture of computing, she offers a valuable historical perspective on today's concerns over women's underrepresentation in the field.
Abbate describes the experiences of women who worked with the earliest electronic digital computers: Colossus, the wartime codebreaking computer at Bletchley Park outside London, and the American ENIAC, developed to calculate ballistics. She examines postwar methods for recruiting programmers, and the 1960s redefinition of programming as the more masculine “software engineering.” She describes the social and business innovations of two early software entrepreneurs, Elsie Shutt and Stephanie Shirley; and she examines the career paths of women in academic computer science.
Abbate's account of the bold and creative strategies of women who loved computing work, excelled at it, and forged successful careers will provide inspiration for those working to change gendered computing culture.
This is a book about the computer revolution of the mid-twentieth century and the people who made it possible. Unlike most histories of computing, it is not a book about machines, inventors, or entrepreneurs. Instead, it tells the story of the vast but largely anonymous legions of computer specialists—programmers, systems analysts, and other software developers—who transformed the electronic computer from a scientific curiosity into the defining technology of the modern era. As the systems that they built became increasingly powerful and ubiquitous, these specialists became the focus of a series of critiques of the social and organizational impact of electronic computing. To many of their contemporaries, it seemed the “computer boys” were taking over, not just in the corporate setting, but also in government, politics, and society in general.
In The Computer Boys Take Over, Nathan Ensmenger traces the rise to power of the computer expert in modern American society. His rich and nuanced portrayal of the men and women (a surprising number of the “computer boys” were, in fact, female) who built their careers around the novel technology of electronic computing explores issues of power, identity, and expertise that have only become more significant in our increasingly computerized society.
In his recasting of the drama of the computer revolution through the eyes of its principle revolutionaries, Ensmenger reminds us that the computerization of modern society was not an inevitable process driven by impersonal technological or economic imperatives, but was rather a creative, contentious, and above all, fundamentally human development.
Conceived in 1943, completed in 1945, and decommissioned in 1955, ENIAC (the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was the first general-purpose programmable electronic computer. But ENIAC was more than just a milestone on the road to the modern computer. During its decade of operational life, ENIAC calculated sines and cosines and tested for statistical outliers, plotted the trajectories of bombs and shells, and ran the first numerical weather simulations. ENIAC in Action tells the whole story for the first time, from ENIAC's design, construction, testing, and use to its afterlife as part of computing folklore. It highlights the complex relationship of ENIAC and its designers to the revolutionary approaches to computer architecture and coding first documented by John von Neumann in 1945.
Within this broad sweep, the authors emphasize the crucial but previously neglected years of 1947 to 1948, when ENIAC was reconfigured to run what the authors claim was the first modern computer program to be executed: a simulation of atomic fission for Los Alamos researchers. The authors view ENIAC from diverse perspectives—as a machine of war, as the “first computer,” as a material artifact constantly remade by its users, and as a subject of (contradictory) historical narratives. They integrate the history of the machine and its applications, describing the mathematicians, scientists, and engineers who proposed and designed ENIAC as well as the men—and particularly the women who—built, programmed, and operated it.