Women Who Changed the Tech World | UMBC Industry News

Throughout history, women have had a significant impact in the tech world. To honor them during this Women’s History Month, we’ll highlight five of the most remarkable ones and their contributions to society.

Ada Lovelace: The World’s First Computer Programmer

The world of computer programming has come a long way since Ada Lovelace calculated a sequence of numbers that computer historians regard as the first computer program. Every year on the second Tuesday in October, the contributions of women to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are celebrated on Ada Lovelace Day.

Grace Hopper: The Esteemed Computer Scientist

Known as the woman who brought the Navy into the digital age, Grace Hopper proved to the world that innovation is at the heart of any civilization that has moved forward. Thanks to her efforts and hands-on spirit, we entered the computer age with finesse. She learned how to write the codes that put modern computer programming into play, becoming one of the first-ever computer programmers.  

Hedy Lamarr: The Inventor of WiFi

Gaining her first career roots as an actress, Hedy Lamar turned her sights to the marvelous world of computing. In fact, she pioneered the technology that would one day form the basis for today’s WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth communication systems. Every time you access your social media account from your living room couch, you can thank Hedy for initiating the process that would one day make that happen.

Annie Easley: The NASA Rocket Scientist

This brilliant minded-women stepped up to the plate when the world needed her. The Lab (the predecessor of the NASA Glenn Research Center) was in need of people with strong math skills, and she was in need of a job after recently relocating from Birmingham, Alabama. Two weeks after reading the article, Easley began a career that would span 34 years. She broke down numerous barriers for women through her contributions to the STEM field.

Mary Wilkes: The First Home Computer User

Coined as being the first person to ever use a home computer, Mary Wilkes made her mark in a once male-dominated field. She claimed her spot as an influencer of technology by creating a programming language on LINC that could be used by starters.  

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