Top secret rosies II: the sisters Doris and Shirley

Top secret Rosies

We continue with the second part of the series Top Secret Rosies. This time it is dedicated to the twin sisters Doris Blumberg Polsky and Shirley Blumberg Melvin, considering that there are more than 80 mathematician women employed at the time to perform ballistic calculations for the army and programming of computers in the Philadelphia Computer Section. It was located at the Moore Electrical Engineering School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Certainly these women were quickly forgotten in spite of the fact that World War II was the best documented war to date. Considering the important role they played in winning it, these women only had to settle for the economic compensation they received. Their salary that was considered very high at the time, about $2000 per year (which may be ridiculous at the moment). Unquestionably they deserved more than this, a wider social recognition at least.

Continue reading “Top secret rosies II: the sisters Doris and Shirley”

Top secret rosies I: those forgotten programmers of ENIAC

Top secret Rosies

New entry in our blog:  the first one of the Top Secret Rosies series. This time it is dedicated to six women who were responsible for the programming of ENIAC and for changing the course of humanity with their job. Everything began in 1942, in the middle of World War II when women were underestimated. At the end, their alliance with computers would end up bearing fruit to make way for the era of modern computing.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, USA started recruiting women who knew mathematics. They ended up programming the second digital computer: ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer). Remember that the first digital computer arose in Europe thanks to the works of Konrad Zuse and his series of Zx computers.

Continue reading “Top secret rosies I: those forgotten programmers of ENIAC”