Grace Hopper was an American mathematician and rear admiral in the US Navy. Before she enlisted in the Navy, Hopper taught at Vassar College and became the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University in 1934. Hopper was at the forefront of computer programming and computer languages.
Joining the War Effort
As World War II began, Hopper wanted to join the war effort. At age 34, and weighing only 105 pounds, she was not eligible for military enlistment. She persisted, received an exemption and joined the Navy, serving until age 79. She helped to develop Mark I, the first commercial electronic computer. After a moth entered the circuits of Mark I, she coined the term “bug” to refer to unexplained computer failures.