Celebrating Women in Computing – Frances Elizabeth Holberton #SheIsWhyICode

Frances Elizabeth Holberton (1917 – 2001)

During World War II, Betty was hired as a “computor” – women that were hired to manually compute ballistic trajectories for the Army. These manual calculations were complex and took 30 hours to solve. But in 1945, the Army built a machine to replicate the work and Betty was part of the team of six women commissioned to program the ENIAC machine. All six women earned a place in the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame.

Early computer

Betty went on to help with the development of the UNIVAC machine and is credited for placing the numeric keypad next to the keyboard, as well as replacing the black exterior of the UNIVAC with the gray-beige tone that came to be the universal color of computers for many years. She also worked on early standards for COBOL and FORTRAN.

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