Celebrating Computing Women Part IV

Here is our fourth blog post in a series about outstanding women in the history of computing, provided by our volunteer blogger, Heather Elizabeth Ross.

Erna Schneider Hoover (1926- )

Erna Schneider Hoover earned a Ph.D in the Philosophy and Foundations of Mathematics from Yale. Hoover began work as a researcher at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey in 1954. While at Bell, she created a computerized telephone switching system utilizing a computer to monitor incoming calls. The computer automatically adjusted a call’s acceptance rate, which helped eliminate overloading problems. The principles behind Hoover’s system are still used today. She was issued one of the first software patents and became the first female supervisor of a technical department at Bell.


Frances Allen (1932-   )

Frances Allen earned a B.S. degree in Mathematics in 1954 from the New York State College for Teachers and a M.S.in Mathematics in 1957 (University of Michigan). She  did groundbreaking work  in the areas of compilers, code optimization and parallelization. Allen was a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Association for Computing Machinery and the Computer History Museum.

She did pioneering work at IBM and became the first IBM fellow in 1989. She worked for IBM for 45 years. Allen also had a hand in intelligence work with programming languages and security codes for the National Security Administration. She was inducted into the WITI Hall of Fame in 1997and won the Augusta Ada Lovelace Award in 2002. Allen was the first woman to win the Turing Award (the“Nobel Prize of computing”) in 2006.

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