Grace Hopper

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Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992) was an American computer scientist and United States Naval officer. A pioneer in the field, she was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, and she developed the first compiler for a computer programming language.[1][2][3][4][5] She conceptualized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL, one of the first modern programming languages. She is also credited with popularizing the term "debugging" for fixing computer glitches (motivated by an actual moth removed from the computer). Because of the breadth of her accomplishments and her naval rank, she is sometimes referred to as "Amazing Grace". The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) was named for her.


Early life and education

Hopper was born Grace Brewster Murray in New York City. For her preparatory school education, she attended the Hartridge School in Plainfield, New Jersey. She applied for early admission to Vassar College at age 16, but was rejected (her test scores in Latin were too low); she was admitted the next year. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and physics in 1928 and pursued her graduate education at Yale University, where she received a Master's degree in those subjects in 1930.

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