Female Tech Pioneers Honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

...

Two of technology's leading ladies this week were granted the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Software engineer Margaret Hamilton and computer scientist Grace Hopper were among 21 recipients of the nation's highest honor, presented by President Obama at the White House.

"Three minutes before [Neil] Armstrong and [Buzz] Aldrin touched down on the moon, Apollo 11's lunar landing alarms triggered," Obama said during Tuesday's ceremony. "Our astronauts didn't have much time. But thankfully they had Margaret Hamilton."

A computer scientist, systems engineer, business owner, and working mom in the 1960s, Hamilton served as director of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Lab, which developed on-board flight software for the Apollo space program.

"Keep in mind that at this time, software engineering wasn't even a field yet; there were no textbooks to call on," Obama pointed out. "So, as Margaret says, 'there was no choice but to be pioneers.'"

"Luckily for us, Margaret never stopped pioneering," he continued. "She symbolizes that generation of unsung women who helped send humankind into space."

Hamilton went on to become the founder and CEO of Higher Order Software, and later created Hamilton Technologies in Cambridge, Mass.

"Her software architecture echoes in countless technologies today, and her example speaks of the American spirit of discovery that exists in every little girl and little boy, who know that somehow, to look beyond the heavens is to look deep within ourselves and figure out just what is possible," Obama said.

The President also honored the late Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (pictured), who earned a posthumous Medal of Freedom for her pioneering work.

The first lady of software died on New Year's Day 1992, after what Obama called a "long and storied career," which included a stint in the Navy, work on one of the first computers (the Harvard Mark I), and the invention of the first compiler, which helped make coding languages more practical and accessible.

"She saw beyond the boundaries of the possible and invented the first compiler," Obama said. "From cell phones to cyber command, we can thank Grace Hopper for opening programming to millions more people, helping to usher in the information age, and profoundly shaping our digital world."

This year's 21 Medal of Freedom recipients run the gamut, from scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ellen DeGeneres, Robert De Niro, Bill and Melinda Gates, Frank Gehry, Tom Hanks, Michael Jordan, Lorne Michaels, Robert Redford, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, and Cicely Tyson.

Categories
GAMES
0 Comment

Leave a Reply

Captcha image


RELATED BY

  • 5300c769af79e

    Samsung Galaxy Note 8

    The Galaxy Note 8 is just what we expected.Compare Similar ProductsCompare Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung Galaxy S8+ Apple iPhone 7 Plus Google Pixel XL LG G6 OnePlus 5 Essential Phone PH-1 Motorola Moto Z2 Force Edition HTC U11 Design The Galaxy Note 8 feels like a slightly bigger Galaxy S8+, as you'd expect.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (for PC)

    Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 (for PC) %displayPrice% Deathsmiles (for PC) %displayPrice% Your StoryIn Final Fantasy X, you play as Tidus, a sports star who lives in Zanarkand, a bustling metropolis.The commentary on religion and relationships hit closer to reality than any other Final Fantasy game to date.
  • 5300c769af79e

    How To Avoid A Costly Bad Hire

    Download The cost of selecting the wrong person to hire can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.When you add to that the intangibles, like the potential negative impact to a company's morale and productivity, the cost of a bad hire goes up exponentially.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Nab Samsung's New Gear 360 Camera for $229

    An updated version of the Samsung Gear 360 camera goes on sale Thursday, offering better smartphone compatibility and a price that lets even casual child birthday and soccer game videographers dabble in 360-degree video.The new Gear 360, which vaguely resembles a chicken drumstick, is smaller and lighter than the globe-shaped first-generation model.