Jean E. Sammet The Scientist Who Developed the FORMAC Programming Language Dies at 89

An early software engineer and a designer of COBOL a programming language that brought computing into the business mainstream died on May 20 in Maryland at the age of 89.  The programming language Ms. Sammet helped bring to life is now more than half-century old, but billions of lines of COBOL, code still run on the mainframe computers that underpin the work of corporations and government agencies around the world. Reports New York Times

Jean Sammet in 1979 during a visit to the University of Maryland o deliver a lecture

Read more about this amazing genius on the pages of  Communications of the ACM

In Memoriam: Jean E. Sammet 1928-2017

Jean E. Sammet, an American computer scientist who developed the FORMAC programming language and who served as the first female president of ACM, passed away May 21 at the age of 89.

Sammet was born in New York City on March 23, 1928; her parents, Ruth and Harry Sammet, were both lawyers. She and her sister Helen attended public elementary schools in Manhattan. She said she first became interested in mathematics “probably when I was seven years old. When I started the first grade, I immediately decided I liked that number stuff.”

Despite her strong interest in mathematics, she was unable to attend the Bronx High School of Science because it did not accept girls; she attended instead the now-defunct all-girls Julia Richman High School, where she took every available math course.

Watch this video,  a short speech delivered  by Jean E Sammet after receiving 2009 IEEE Computer Society  award.

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