Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Great Story: Rosie the Computer?

Everybody knows about Rosie the Riveter (who recently pass away, BTW.)
But how many of you know about Rosie the Computer?

Back in the day, say, WWII, "computers" were people who "computed". Find
a circa 1932 edition of any US dictionary and you'll see that
definition. As part of the war effort, women were recruited into
positions that would otherwise be held by men who were, of course, off
in the world fighting.

Rosie the Riveter and thousands of women like her filled positions in
manufacturing jobs, aircraft transport pilots, and myriad others. One of
the most unusual were those women who were drafted into calculating
"ballistic tables" for Navy and Army heavy guns. If you did trig, you
were in.

It's these later women who are significant for us in CS, back in the day
when a computer was not a calculating device, but a person of savvy math

Here's a couple of links that I think would be especially useful in our
Intro To classes.




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