Grace Murray was an American computer scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral. She was a pioneer of computer programming, who invented one of the first compiler tools. She was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1991—becoming the first female individual recipient of the honour.
She popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages which led to the development of COBOL, an early high-level programming language still in use today.
She showed an early interest in engineering and at the age of seven by tearing apart seven of the family's alarm clocks to see how they worked.
Hopper earned a PhD in math from Yale -- a rare accomplishment for anyone at the time. Only 1,279 math PhDs were awarded in the 72-year period from 1862-1934, the year Hopper received hers.
She is credited with coining the terms “bug” and “de-bug” as related to computer errors. One day a computer failure stumped Hopper and her team until she opened the machine and found a moth inside! Taping the moth into her log book, she wrote, “first actual bug found.”
“The most damaging phrase in the language is 'We’ve always done it this way!'” - Grace Murray