In honor of National STEM day, we are sharing with you some extraordinary individuals whose passion for learning and education has helped shape the world of computer science into what it is today. Let's take a look at some of the accomplishments of Ada Lovelace, Annie Easley, and Raj Reddy.
Born December 10th, 1815, Augusta Ada Lovelace was a mathematician with ideas ahead of her own time. She is known as the first computer programmer as she wrote the first published description of a stepwise sequence of operations for solving certain mathematical problems for an invention she was collaborating on called the Analytical Engine. In an article on the Analytical Engine, she also speculated that the Engine “might act upon other things besides number... the Engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent.” This prediction of modern-day computers was an invention that wouldn’t come about until hundreds of years later.
In 1955 Annie Easley offered her exceptional mathematical skills to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics as a human computer performing complex mathematical calculations. As actual computers developed, she became a talented computer programmer, supporting several NASA programs. Her contributions to computer science can be seen in early hybrid vehicles and the Centaur rocket, which helped revolutionize communication and expand the frontiers of space.
Dabbala Rajagopal "Raj" Reddy is a brilliant computer scientist pioneer in AI speech recognition. He developed the first system, Hearsay I, capable of continuous speech recognition. In 1994 he was co-awarded the Turning Award for “design and construction of large-scale artificial intelligence systems, demonstrating the practical importance and potential commercial impact of artificial intelligence technology.” He is renowned for his work in computer speech recognition, robotics, human-computer interaction, and innovations in higher education.