Grace Hopper grave
Grace Hopper
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Virginia

Grace Hopper, a PhD mathematician and Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy was one of the giants of early computing technology. She helped create Mark I, the first large-scale automatic calculator and a precursor of electronic computers, and later she was instrumental in creating UNIVAC I, the first commercial electronic computer. She is probably best remembered for her major work on the creation of the first compiler. (She coined the term.) If you know bananas better than computers, you may need reminding that a compiler program is necessary to compile a high-level computer language written using English words into ones and zeros of computer code that a computer can act on. Her insight into and work on machine-independent programming languages led to the creation of COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language), which quickly became the standard computer language for business and finance.