Jean Bartik enters the Computer History Museum's "Hall of Fellows"

Rikki Kite

ROSE Blog: Rikki's Open Source Exchange

Jun 18, 2008 GMT
Rikki Kite

Today, maddog blogged that Linus Torvalds and Bob Metcalfe will be inducted into the Computer History Museum's Hall of Fellows this October. The museum, located in Mountain View, California, has an impressive list of exhibits, including a collection of computer marketing brochures, early computers and vintage PCs, and the Babbage Engine.

Maddog sent me some exciting news for women in computing, too: Jean Bartik also will be indoctrinated as a new fellow.

Jean Bartik, an ENIAC programmer, already enjoys a spot in the WITI Hall of Fame. According to the WITI site:

The first programmers started out as "Computers." This was the name given by the Army to a group of over 80 women working at the University of Pennsylvania during World War II calculating ballistics trajectories - complex differential equations - by hand. When the Army agreed to fund an experimental project, the first all-electronic digital computer, six "Computers" were selected in 1945 to be its first programmers. They were Kathleen McNulty Mauchly Antonelli, Jean Jennings Bartik, Frances Snyder Holberton, Marlyn Wescoff Meltzer, Frances Bilas Spence and Ruth Lichterman Teitelbaum.

In December, Computerworld featured Jean as one of its "Unsung Innovators." It's a great article and ends with Jean's advice for women in technology:

Asked whether she has any advice for young women thinking about getting into technology, Bartik suggests, "I just say do what you love. I loved every minute of what I did. If you don't love what you do, what do you have?"

Bartik also quotes her friend and fellow ENIAC programmer, the late Betty Snyder Holberton, as giving some good advice for women at the time: "Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, and work like a dog."

Congratulations to all the new fellows!

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