March is Women’s History Month and Debbie and Tami are celebrating with 31 Heroines of Computer Science! Click here to explore 31 incredible women- from Nicole-Reine Lepaute to Jaime Teevan— and don’t forget Betty, Jean and Kay— who’ve pioneered computer science. Thousands of brilliant woman made computers what they are today and these are some of our favorites.
We’ve also made lots of fun and games- from Mary’s Math Mazes to the Algorithm Game to a one of a kind Computer Science Seek and Find for you to join in the fun!
Computer programs are written with a series of steps. An algorithm is that series or the order in which the computer performs the steps.
A story is also a sort of algorithm. In INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED the three young women, Betty, Jean and Kay wanted to be mathematicians and, later, more specifically, computer programmers. To accomplish that goal they studied, applied for a job as a “human computer” and worked very hard. They were specially selected to work on the ENIAC project. By using logic and mathematics they were able to enter complicated problems into the computer and commanded it to solve them.
What’s as sweet as a girl scout cookie? A secret message– in cookie binary code. Girls have been computer programmers from the very start. Betty, Jean and Kay INVENTED computer programming. Read more about their work in INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED: How A Team Of Women Coded The Future.
You can be a coder, too. Get started with this unplugged basic coding activity, writing code like Betty, Jean and Kay, but we do have instructions!
Can you imagine being asked to program a computer with no instructions?
Betty, Jean and Kay did just that. They relied on math and mathematical logic to program ENIAC. Computer programmers still use logic when they write programs. Conditional statements or If… Then statements are one kind of mathematical logic. The program is telling the computer that if one thing exists it should do another thing.