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The Forgotten Female Programmers Who Created Modern Tech

Discussion dans 'Bistrot Chine du "Lotus Bleu"' créé par Therugbygirl, 7 Octobre 2014.

  1. Therugbygirl

    Therugbygirl Déesse

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    Bonjour

    Pour tous les BJC qui jouent a l'informatique...

    Desolee, c'est un peu long et en Anglais... Mais j'aime trop!


    [​IMG]ii
    Jean Jennings (left) and Frances Bilas set up the ENIAC in 1946. Bilas is arranging the program settings on the Master Programmer. Courtesy of University of Pennsylvania hide caption

    If your image of a computer programmer is a young man, there's a good reason: It's true. Recently, many big tech companies revealed how few of their female employees worked in programming and technical jobs. Google had some of the highest rates: 17 percent of its technical staff is female.
    It wasn't always this way. Decades ago, it was women who pioneered computer programming — but too often, that's a part of history that even the smartest people don't know.

    Augusta Ada, Countess of Lovelace, born in 1815, was the daughter of poet Lord Byron. The computer language ADA was named after her in recognition of her pioneering work with Charles Babbage.
    "Ada Lovelace is Lord Byron's child, and her mother, Lady Byron, did not want her to turn out to be like her father, a romantic poet," says Isaacson. So Lady Byron "had her tutored almost exclusively in mathematics as if that were an antidote to being poetic."
    Lovelace saw the poetry in math. At 17, she went to a London salon and met Charles Babbage. He showed her plans for a machine that he believed would be able to do complex mathematical calculations. He asked Lovelace to write about his work for a scholarly journal. In her article, Lovelace expresses a vision for his machine that goes beyond calculations.
    She envisioned that "a computer can do anything that can be noted logically," explains Isaacson. "Words, pictures and music, not just numbers. She understands how you take an instruction set and load it into the machine, and she even does an example, which is programming Bernoulli numbers, an incredibly complicated sequence of numbers."
    Babbage's machine was never built. But his designs and Lovelace's notes were read by people building the first computer a century later.
    The women who would program one of the world's earliest electronic computers, however, knew nothing of Lovelace and Babbage.
    Jean Jennings Bartik recalled how she got the job working on that computer. She was doing calculations on rocket and canon trajectories by hand in 1945. A job opened to work on a new machine.
    "This announcement came around that they were looking for operators of a new machine they were building called the ENIAC," recalls Bartik. "Of course, I had no idea what it was, but I knew it wasn't doing hand calculation."

    Bartik was one of six female mathematicians who created programs for one of the world's first fully electronic general-purpose computers. Isaacson says the men didn't think it was an important job.
    "Men were interested in building, the hardware," says Isaacson, "doing the circuits, figuring out the machinery. And women were very good mathematicians back then."
    Isaacson says in the 1930s female math majors were fairly common — though mostly they went off to teach. But during World War II, these skilled women signed up to help with the war effort. (...)

    After the war, Bartik and her team went on to work on the UNIVAC, one of the first major commercial computers.
    The women joined up with Grace Hopper, a tenured math professor who joined the Navy Reserve during the war. Walter Isaacson says Hopper had a breakthrough. She found a way to program computers using words rather than numbers — most notably a program language called COBOL.
    "You would be using a programming language that would allow you almost to just give it instructions, almost in regular English, and it would compile it for whatever hardware it happened to be," explains Isaacson. "So that made programming more important than the hardware, 'cause you could use it on any piece of hardware."

    Hopper retired from the Navy Reserve as a rear admiral. An act of Congress allowed her to stay past mandatory retirement age. She did become something of a public figure and even appeared on the David Letterman show in 1986. Letterman asks her, "You're known as the Queen of Software. Is that right?"
    "More or less," says the 79-year-old Hopper.
    But it was also just about this time that the number of women majoring in computer science began to drop, from close to 40 percent to around 17 percent now. There are a lot of theories about why this is so. It was around this time that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were appearing in the media; personal computers were taking off.

    Lovelace, the mathematician, died when she was 36. The women who worked on the ENIAC have all passed away, as has Grace Hopper. But every time you write on a computer, play a music file or add up a number with your phone's calculator, you are using tools that might not exist without the work of these women.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechcon...en-female-programmers-who-created-modern-tech
     
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  2. Pfedac

    Pfedac Dieu Supérieur

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    :bravo:
    Un pan de l'Histoire des Sciences qu'on n'apprend pas souvent aux gens, tout le monde connait les grandes figures fondatrices des autres Sciences dures, mais pour l'informatique les gens ne connaissent que les constructeurs d'OS.
     
  3. Searogers

    Searogers Demi-dieu

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    - il me semble que pour commémorer l'anniversaire de la naissance de l'une d'entre elles, Google lui avait quand même consacré la "une" sur son moteur de recherche... (avec un petit dessin évocateur)
    ...et évidemment, la population curieuse (dont j'avoue faire partie) s'est ruée sur la page wiki de la dame en question en se demandant "qui c'est, celle-là ?" :D
     
  4. Pfedac

    Pfedac Dieu Supérieur

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    Si c'était l'année dernière, ça devait être celui pour Ada Lovelace.
     
  5. Therugbygirl

    Therugbygirl Déesse

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    Avec ce nom, il y en a un certain nombre qui ont du penser a autre chose qu'a l'informatique..:confused:
     
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  6. Searogers

    Searogers Demi-dieu

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    D'ailleurs, à propos, j'ai jamais compris pourquoi les CD'de langage de programmation ADA (ça remonte à quelques années, hein, on est d'accord..) affichaient comme couverture / emblème / page de garde l'Ada de Sigmund Freud.
    Quelqu'un(e) sait peut-être le rapport ?...
     
  7. mahu

    mahu Modo en carton

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    c'est pas windows qu'a inventé l'informatique ?
     

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