Milestone-Proposal:The Grace M. Hopper Milestone

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Docket #:2020-03

This proposal has been submitted for review.


To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation? No

Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes

Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s designated fields as defined by IEEE Bylaw I-104.11, namely: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. Yes

Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes

Was it of at least regional importance? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes

Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes

Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an IEEE Milestone? Yes


Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:

1946 through 1957

Title of the proposed milestone:

The Compiler 1952

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:

The first Compiler was invented in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, in 1952. The compiler translated human-readable English keywords or commands into machine-readable instructions or binary code thus creating well-defined communication between human programmers and computers. The compiler “Flow-Matic Programming system” for UNIVAC shaped the creation of COBOL, a major programming language, which formed the basis for the commercial multi-billion-dollar IT infrastructure and industry.

In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?

IEEE Philadelphia Section

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

Unit: IEEE Philadelphia Section, IEEE Women in Engineering Committee, IEEE WIE Region 2, and IEEE WIE Affinity Groups of Philadelphia and South New Jersey
Senior Officer Name: Emilio M. Salgueiro, Chair

Unit: IEEE Membership Committee
Senior Officer Name: Kathleen M. McDevitt, Chair

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

Unit: IEEE Philadelphia Milestone committee
Senior Officer Name: Kathleen M. McDevitt, Chair

Unit: IEEE Membership Committee
Senior Officer Name: Kathleen M. McDevitt, Chair

Unit: IEEE Women In Engineering Affinity Group, Philadelphia
Senior Officer Name: Nannette D'Imperio

Unit: IEEE Philadelphia Section
Senior Officer Name: Emilio M. Salgueiro, Chair

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

IEEE Section: IEEE Philadelphia Section
IEEE Section Chair name: Emilio M. Salgueiro, Chair

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: Kathleen M McDevitt (Kate)
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

200 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, GPS Latitude: 39.95239 - Longitude: -75.190489

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need. 1740 is the founding date of the University of Pennsylvania where the compiler Milestone will be placed. When the compiler was being invented, the University’s Moore Engineering School admitted women into all engineering programs in 1954.[1] The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) was the first Computer invented at Penn. Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC) was formed at Broad and Spring Garden Streets. A core group of programmers were hired from the Moore School including Grace Hopper.[2] The location was within two miles of Penn, where the compiler was invented in 1952. Remington Rand bought the company and EMCC became a subsidiary of Remington Rand at the same location. It later moved to 3747 Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia. The compiler was used in UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer) which started the information age in 1957. Grace Hopper lectured at Penn for twelve years about the invention of the compiler and its importance. Remington Rand became Sperry Rand and today is Unisys. Pennsylvania History Marker for the ENIAC is located on the street outside the building. [1] https://www.ese.upenn/history [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eckert%E2%80%93Mauchly_Computer_Corporation

Are the original buildings extant?

yes

Details of the plaque mounting:

The Compiler Milestone will be on a wall in the lobby of the University of Pennsylvania, the Moore School

How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

It is a secure location by security cameras and campus security guards. It is open seven days a week.

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

University of Pennsylvania

What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)?

The historical significance of the Compiler is the importance of how it affected the modern computer: A compiler is a computer program that translates computer code written in one programming language into another computer language. The compiler is primarily used for programs that translate source code from a high-level programming language to a lower-level language to create an executable program.[3] The invention of the compiler led to the Information Age and the beginning of the IT industry.

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_compiler_construction

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?

The biggest obstacle that needed to be overcome was convincing the management and the computer department that the Compiler would work technically. The politics and challenges of convincing an all-male audience took two years for acceptance. “I had a running compiler, and nobody would touch it… they carefully told me computers could only do arithmetic. They could not do programs” said Grace Hopper.[4]

[4] https://flatironschool.com/blog/code-history-lesson-grace-hopper

What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

The feature that set the Compiler apart from similar achievements is it was the missing link in computer programming. The compiler was an executable program that translated source code into a binary form known as object code or machine code for the first time.

[5]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_compiler_construction

Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation.

1740 is the founding date of the University of Pennsylvania where the compiler Milestone will be placed. When the compiler was being invented, the University’s Moore Engineering School admitted women into all engineering programs in 1954.[1] [1] https://www.ese.upenn.edu/history

The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) was the first Computer invented at Penn. Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC) was formed at Broad and Spring Garden Streets. A core group of programmers were hired from the Moore School including Grace Hopper.[2] [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eckert%E2%80%93Mauchly_Computer_Corporation

The historical significance of the Compiler is the importance of how it affected the modern computer: A compiler is a computer program that translates computer code written in one programming language into another computer language. The compiler is primarily used for programs that translate source code from a high-level programming language to a lower-level language to create an executable program.[3] [3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_compiler_construction

 “I had a running compiler, and nobody would touch it… they carefully told me computers could only do arithmetic. They could not do programs” said Grace Hopper.[4]

[4] https://flatironschool.com/blog/code-history-lesson-grace-hopper

The feature that set the Compiler apart from similar achievements is it was the missing link in computer programming. The compiler was an executable program that translated source code into a binary form known as object code or machine code for the first time.[5] [5]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_compiler_construction

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_compiler_construction https://news.yale.edu/2017/02/10/grace-murray-hopper-1906-1992-legacy-innovation-and-service https://www.computer.org/profiles/grace-hopper https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper https://www.britannica.com/biography/Grace-Hopper https://www.computer.org/csdl/magazine/it/2015/01/mit2015010062/13rRUxCitFF http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/d/pacscl/UPENN_RBML_PUSpMsColl925

Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to ieee-history@ieee.org. Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.


Please email a jpeg or PDF a letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property, and a letter (or forwarded email) from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application to ieee-history@ieee.org with the subject line "Attention: Milestone Administrator." Note that there are multiple texts of the letter depending on whether an IEEE organizational unit other than the section will be paying for the plaque(s).