Celebrating Women in Computing – Sister Mary Kenneth Keller #SheIsWhyICode

Sister Mary Kenneth Keller (1913-1985)

An American Roman Catholic nun, she was the first woman to earn a PhD in computer science (1965, University of Wisconsin-Madison) in the United States. During her graduate studies, she worked with the National Science foundation workshop in Computer Science at Dartmouth College (all male at the time) and participated in the implementation of the BASIC programming language. She later went on to found the computer science department at Clarke College (now University) and directed the department for twenty years.

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At the ACM/SIGUCC User Services Conference in 1975, Keller declared “we have not fully used a computer as the greatest interdisciplinary tool that has been invented to date.” (How cool is that?? She was at our conference!)

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