Grace Hopper was born December 9, 1906 and made many contributions to the tech world, including becoming one of the first women to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics. During WWII, Grace put this degree to good use: she joined the U.S. Naval Reserve and learned how to program a Mark I computer. After the war, Grace stayed in the Navy as a reserve officer, working with the more advanced Mark II and Mark III computers.
Grace’s love for computers and technology led her to join the manufacturing company Remington Rand where she oversaw programming for the UNIVAC computer. She also helped create the first compiler for computer languages, allowing computers to turn written instructions into code.
Due to her many achievements in computing, Grace became the first female individual to receive the National Medal of Technology in 1991.