Gal's Guide Podcast History inventors Science STEM

Grace Hopper

This time there is actually a bug in the computer and we’re talking about the gal who found it! Bonnie’s 1 Cool STEM Thing is all about the lady with a long name whose work was pivotal to early modern computers. Rear Admiral Grace Brewster Murray Hopper created the first computer language and wrote the book on the Mark 1. So boot up because we’re going into the code and we’re a little scared of the technology because Alexa and Facebook are listening!

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Show Notes & Extras

  • Gal Pals this month are Dr. Leah Leach, Bonnie Fillenwarth, and Lisa Meece
  • Come see all these gal-pals at Starbase Indy this Thanksgiving Weekend!

Ad Page Uhura Training Academy 2019

  • Get-to-know-you-question: What emerging technology are you most excited or terrified about?
  • Wiretapping fun
  • Learning vs. Alexa
  • The real-life tolley problem!!
  • Face Off, Star Wars, Lion King!

  • Bonnie’s 1 Cool Thing is Grace Brewster Murray Hopper
  • “Grandmother of COBOL”
  • “Grand Lady of Software”
  • Took apart alarm clocks to see how they work


  • Ph.D. from Yale before becoming a math teacher
  • Got married and divorced.
  • Pearl Harbor happened and Grace joined the Navy at 35 years old
  • The Navy sent her to work on the Harvard Mark 1 Computer
  • How better computers are today
  • How Aiken was “wired differently”
  • Grace came up with the compiler
computer bug
By Courtesy of the Naval Surface Warfare Center
  • The “bug” in the computer story
  • Special appointment of Commander (later changed to Rear Admiral)
  • Grace served 42 years in the Navy
  • You can see a lot of her personality in this David Letterman interview

  • COBOL is still used today in ATM’s
  • Grace is buried in Arlington Cemetery
  • She has a Navy ship missle-destroyer named after her USS Hopper
USS Hopper
By Official Navy Page from United States of AmericaMC2 (AW/SW) Jon Dasbach/U.S. Navy – USS Hopper leaves Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam., Public Domain


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What if you could only share 1 cool thing about a topic? Would it be about ancient history? Would it be breaking news? Would it be safe for work? A group of gals gathers to present to you one cool thing on topics like painting, gaming, movies, music and more.

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