As one of the first computer programmers, Grace Hopper used binary code to program the Mark I. But she had a vision for a better way: She created the first computer language that used words to tell computers what to do. This idea of “plain language programming” paved the way for modern computing.
While she was an accomplished computer scientist, Grace Hopper also loved educating people about how computers work. When asked which of her many accomplishments she was most proud of, she replied, “All the young people I have trained over the years.”
Hopper always carried “nanosecond wires” with her to use in her lectures. These 11.8” (30cm) wires represented the maximum distance an electrical signal can travel in 1 billionth of a second. You can watch Hopper explain her nanosecond wires in the video below.
Want to wear your own Grace Hopper nanosecond? Get one of our Grace Hopper pins!
Ready for even more Hopper? Check out her MIT lecture on the future of computing, below.