The gender gap in scientific fields is tending to narrow, even if it must still be emphasized that the brain has no sex. This Monday, February 11, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science reminds us, once again this year, that women are still under-represented in scientific fields even though they have their full place there. Some, whose portraits follow, were pioneers whose inventions opened the way to current technologies.
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The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, organized this Sunday, February 11, 2024, is an opportunity to look back at some of the most significant technological and computer inventions that we owe to female pioneers of genius, who sometimes remain unknown to the general public.
The ancestor of the computer
The English mathematician Ada Lovelace is a pioneer in the history of computing since she participated in the development of what can be considered the very first computer, in the 19th century.e century, working on Charles Babbage’s analytical machine. It is in fact a programmable calculating machine. She is said to have written the very first computer program in history, published in 1843. The computer language Ada, which appeared in the early 1980s, is obviously a tribute.
Hedy Lamarr’s journey is one of a kind. The American actress of Austrian origin, femme fatale in cinema, participated in the development during the Second World War of a completely new communication system making it possible to guide torpedoes remotely using radio frequencies. Based on a signal that is very difficult to intercept by the enemy, the principles of this technology are still used today in encrypted military transmissions, but also in consumer technologies such as GPS, Wi-Fi and BluetoothBluetooth.
Mathematician and physicist, American Grace Hopper contributed to the creation of the first softwaresoftware computer science. In 1953, she invented a compiler, a program for translating human instructions into code sourcecode source computer science. This has been designed to be used by companies for automatic invoicing and personnel register. For the record, it is even the origin of the term “bug” which commonly refers to a computer malfunction.
And the Apollo program
In the American conquest of space, computer scientist Margaret Hamilton played a considerable role, writing all the computer code for the Apollo space program intended to bring man to space. LuneLune. She worked on software dedicated to navigation and the moon landing of the various modules sent by NASA. They notably helped to anticipate possible breakdowns and to land and take off again without incident.
Every year, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science is an opportunity to raise awareness of the essential role of women in the scientific and technological community, and to call for it to be strengthened by creating vocations.
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