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Here are 5 Inspiring Women in Technology for International Women's Day 2019

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The 8th of March marks International Women’s Day, and this year we at blue{shift} would like you to join us in celebrating some truly inspirational scientists and engineers that have made some wonderful contributions to modern society. There are tons of outstanding women we could talk about, but here are a few to get you started:

 

Susan Kare on the GUI design process

Susan Kare

Most people can use computers or portables device, but it wasn’t always so: Originally, computers were too complex for the average user to understand… until the first Macintosh came along. Using a program designed to create pixel art graphics, Susan Kare designed every icon for the Mac’s many functions so that anyone could sit at a computer and intuitively know how to use it. Suffice it to say that Kare’s work has forever changed the way digital devices are designed and made computers accessible to everyone. Nowadays, Susan heads her own very successful graphic design company

 

Katherine Johnson calculated the trajectory for multiple missions to space, including Apollo 11

Katherine Johnson

When Katherine Johnson worked at NASA, manned spaceflight was a new frontier and a lot of its missions would have failed were it not for her. A mission into space is not as simple as pointing and launching a rocket into the sky; its trajectory needs to be planned ahead lest it misses the target area or makes an unsafe return to Earth, putting its crew in grave danger. Thanks to Johnson’s meticulous calculations, the various spacecraft got where it needed go and the missions were a huge success. Katherine continued her valuable work at NASA for multiple manned missions and is happily retired, receiving multiple awards for her contribution to spaceflight, including the US presidential Medal of Freedom!

 

Hamilton beside the code she produced for the Apollo Program in 1969 (left) and as CEO of Hamilton Technologies in 1989 (right)

Margaret Hamilton

The Apollo 11 moon landing was the result of a tremendous amount of dedication from everyone at NASA, and Margaret Hamilton’s software design on the lunar module is the sole reason it landed at all. As the craft was preparing to land, several components malfunctioned, with even the on-board computer advising to abort the mission! Hamilton’s Apollo software saved the day by diagnosing and repairing any errors as they occurred, ensuring a safe and successful landing. Margaret has since founded and become the CEO of her own software company, Hamilton Technologies, and won several awards of recognition for her amazing work, including the Medal of Freedom.

 

Daphne Oram is the inventor of Oramics, a form of sound synthesis

Daphne Oram is the inventor of Oramics, a form of sound synthesis

Daphne Oram

 

Daphne Oram co-founded and directed the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the unit responsible for all the music and sounds on television and radio between 1958 and 1998. Thanks to her personal research projects, she became a self-made pioneer of music and sound technology, inventing a new form of sound synthesis in 1957. Oramics is the synthesis of sound using a series of images to emit specific notes, amplitude, timbre, frequency, and duration. Daphne is survived by her impressive achievements and has multiple dedications in honour of her work! You can find her incredible Oramics machine at the Science Museum in London.

 

 

McNulty is widely regarded as the 'Irish Mother of Computer Programming'

Kay McNulty

Kay McNulty contributed to a host of technological achievements, receiving little or no credit for her hard work in her lifetime: she began her computing career by developing a processor for an early system used to calculate artillery firing tables. After her marriage, she continued to work unpaid on programming new computers that her husband was developing at the time. Though a long time coming, she was eventually recognised for all her hard work and inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame in 1997!

 

This is just a small example of a large number of inspiring women whose praises we want to sing. Please take the time to visit the International Women's Day site to find out what you can do to support equal rights for women all over the world!

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