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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Author of 'Proving Ground: The Untold Story of the Six Women Who Programmed the World's First Modern Computer' comes to Havre de Grace – Baltimore Sun

Kathy Kleiman, author of “Proving Ground: The Untold Story of the Six Women Who Programmed the World’s First Modern Computer,” will be at a free Discovery Center community forum at Havre de Grace Middle/High School, 445 Lewis Lane, on Nov. 30.
Kleinman will share how she found the women and convinced them to tell their stories.
The electronic numerical integrator and computer (ENIAC) is the world’s first all-electronic, programmable general purpose digital computer. It was designed between 1943 and 1946 at the University of Pennsylvania to compute the trajectories of artillery shells for the U.S. Army Ballistics Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The computer reduced the manual labor of traditional calculations from days to 10 seconds.
The six women in the book — Betty Snyder (later Holberton), Kathleen McNulty (Mauchly), Jean Jennings Bartik, Ruth Licherman (Teitelbaum), Frances Bilas (Spence), and Marlyn Wescoff (Meltzer) — were called computers because their job was to compute the trajectories manually. Kleiman will explain how they became ENIAC’s first programmers because they knew the steps to follow before there were any of the modern instructions or programming languages.
Over the course of a decade, Kleiman recorded extensive interviews with four of the original six ENIAC programmers about their work. Without Kleinman’s research, their names and contributions would have been lost.
The event starts with an author meet-and-greet at 5:30 p.m. Kleiman will begin her talk at 6:30 p.m., followed by book signing at 7:30 p.m.
A limited number of books will be available for sale at the event. The book is available for purchase when you register to attend on Eventbrite at untoldstory.eventbrite.com.
This community forum is co-sponsored by the Discovery Center at Water’s Edge, which will be telling ENIAC’s story, and the Senior Science Society, the Women’s Heritage Center and the Historical Society of Harford County.
Copyright © 2022, Baltimore Sun
Copyright © 2022, Baltimore Sun

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