Milestone-Proposal talk:The Grace M. Hopper Milestone

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Advocates and reviewers will post their comments below. In addition, any IEEE member can sign in with their ETHW login (different from IEEE Single Sign On) and comment on the milestone proposal's accuracy or completeness as a form of public review.

Initial review of proposal -- Jason.k.hui (talk) 13:58, 16 August 2020 (UTC)[edit | reply | new]

Participated in a phone call with the proposer back in March 2020. The following is a follow-on email sent on 3/17/2020:

Kate - Good to speak with you earlier. See,_Plaque_Locations for helpful hints on putting together a milestone plaque citation. You can take a look at my proposal at Please revise your citation based on what we discussed. Also, send copies of the supporting materials to the History Center.

Responded to an email from the proposer on 8/16/2020:

Kate - I revisited your proposal, and the citation is still not compliant to the milestone guidelines that we had discussed in our call back in March as well as in my follow-up email on 3/17. The maximum number of words in a citation for the plaque is 70; you're currently at 105 words, which is well over the limit. Also, the citation should describe the technical achievement, not the person. Please go back to my March email and also look at citations from completed milestones in ETHW for guidance. I also need electronic copies of the supporting reference materials that you sent over to the History Center. These actions need to be completed within the next month or so as the History Committee will be having a series of virtual meetings to approve milestones. The aim is to have all History Committee-approved milestones to the IEEE Board of Directors ahead of their November WebEx meeting.

General Comments to the proposal -- E.tejera (talk) 04:37, 24 May 2021 (UTC)[edit | reply | new]

The way the proposal is presented it oriented for the recognition of a specific person, Grace Hopper and not the achievement. In order for this proposal to move forward it is recommended that significant changes be made to adjust to present guidelines to submit proposals, and specially the Milestone Citation.

nomination -- JaninA (talk) 05:38, 21 October 2021 (UTC)[edit | reply | new]

This is a new version of the nomination, with a new Milestone title but with the same number, submitted on 12 October 2021.

Re: nomination -- Jason.k.hui (talk) 15:24, 12 November 2021 (UTC)[edit | reply | new]

Advocate responded to Milestone proposer via email on 11/7/2021. The following is the message:

In terms of the proposal, it's much improved, but there are still things to resolve. The citation cites "The first Compiler was invented..." I think we need to be careful about citing firsts. Browsing the Internet, the first practical compiler was written by Corrado Bohm in 1951. The first implemented compiler was written by Grace Hopper. I don't think you need to cite Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA in the citation as the plaque will be mounted at the University of Pennsylvania. I believe the third sentence goes into work done by Grace Hopper, but at a later date ( FLOW-MATIC was an early programming language, but the citation notes it as a compiler. How is the compiler tied to FLOW-MATIC? Note that FLOW-MATIC was developed from 1955 to 1959, but the range of years is cited as 1946 through 1957.

Hi Jason, Please review this Milestone as soon as possible. I made corrections and updated it. Next week on Tuesday, November 23, is the deadline to get this on the IEEE History Committee agenda for November. If you have any suggestions please let me know. Your feedback is most welcome and important. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Robert, Can we change the name from Grace Hopper Milestone to The Compiler Milestone? How can we combine the two?

Re: Re: nomination -- Jason.k.hui (talk) 01:16, 21 November 2021 (UTC)[edit | reply | new]

The following correspondence was sent via email and is noted here for reference:

Hi Kate and Jason,

Since I'm included in this conversation, please allow me to suggest some streamlining for the 72-word (in Word) citation. With a 70-word limit, an appreciation for the general audience, and a respect for brevity inspired by Japanese Milestones and Strunk and White, consider the following "less is more" alternative, particularly given that many of the words have numerous characters:

The computer language compiler translated human-readable English keywords or commands into machine-readable instructions or code, thus creating well-defined communication between human programmers and computers. It also made possible programs written for different computers rather than a single machine. Between 1955-1959, UNIVAC’s Flow-Matic Compiler shaped the creation of COBOL, a programming language that formed the basis for the world’s information technology industries. (61 words)

Among other edits, I've 1. Deleted the first year since the title states the timespan. The three words could be restored, making it 64 in all. 2. Matched "human-readable" and "machine-readable"--people with no connection to computing will appreciate the relationship between the two more than the use of "machine-ready". 3. Eliminated the second "thus" and added "also" since flexibility across computers or platforms is not obvious from the consequence in the previous sentence. 4. Spelled out "IT" and replaced the cash value with the lasting fact of global impact.

With best wishes for a Milestone for the ages, Alex

Alexander B. Magoun, Ph.D., Outreach Historian

On Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 1:08 PM Kate McDevitt <> wrote:

Hi Jason,

Please review before I add it to the milestone if that is ok with you?

The computer language compiler, invented in 1952, translated human-readable English keywords or commands into machine-ready instructions or code thus creating well-defined communication between human programmers and computers. Thus, making it possible in time to write programs for multiple computers rather than a single machine. Between 1955-1959, the Flow-Matic Compiler 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.

The compiler was named A-0 then it was B-0 and then Flow Matic. I will correct the range of dates to 1952 to 1959.

Review of milestone citation 11/20/2021 -- Jason.k.hui (talk) 01:28, 21 November 2021 (UTC)[edit | reply | new]

The proposer has modified the citation to read:

The Compiler translated human-readable English keywords or commands into machine-readable instructions or code, thus creating well-defined communication between human programmers and computers. It also made possible programs written for different computers rather than a single machine. Between 1955-1959, UNIVAC’s Flow-Matic Compiler shaped the creation of COBOL, a programming language that formed the basis for the world’s multi-million-dollar information technology industries.

The following are a couple of suggested changes:

1) In the first sentence, update "Compiler" to "compiler"

2) In the third sentence, update "UNIVAC's Flow-Matic" to "UNIVAC I's FLOW-MATIC" and delete "multi-million-dollar"

In addition, update the title of the milestone from "The Compiler 1952" to "The Compiler, 1952"

Re: Review of milestone citation 11/20/2021 -- E.tejera (talk) 02:18, 21 November 2021 (UTC)[edit | reply | new]

I have another minor suggestion for change:

Change "Between 1955-1959," with "Between 1955 to 1959," or "Between 1955 and 1959,"

Whichever suits better.

Please change the title of this 2020-3 Milestone title from Grace Hopper Milestone to The Compiler Milestone. I am unable to make the change. Thank you, Kate McDevitt, the Proposer

Re: Review of milestone citation 11/20/2021 -- Jason.k.hui (talk) 15:39, 21 November 2021 (UTC)[edit | reply | new]

The proposer has made the modifications to the citation and title as suggested. As advocate, I approve this proposal moving forward for the IEEE History Committee's consideration.

approval -- JaninA (talk) 03:41, 2 December 2021 (UTC)[edit | reply | new]

Expert's opinions are not included yet as alerted by email. My comment added now for transparency.

Re: approval -- Jason.k.hui (talk) 02:30, 7 December 2021 (UTC)[edit | reply | new]

Note that Janina had comments and questions that were emailed to the proposer. These should be resolved prior to the experts conducting their reviews. As such, my approval as advocate is on hold.

Correspondence between Janina and Kate 21Nov-2Dec 2021 -- JaninA (talk) 09:48, 7 December 2021 (UTC)[edit | reply | new]

Bold textFrom Janina Mazierska Thursday, 2 December 2021 at 14:01:26 Australian Eastern Standard Time

Hi Kate, many thanks for your email. I like changes and edits you made so far, especially the quote from Grace Hopper on computers not doing programming , and removing the repetitions. What I have atempted to do in No. 4 was to give you one of possible ideas how to expand the nomination (“There is too litle information in the nomination on the programmers, including Grace Hopper”).

The IEEE Milestone 2020-03 Compiler nominaUon is by far much shorter than anything I have seen in my Ume when serving on the IEEE History Committee. Hence it would be desirable to give more of relevant informaUon. One can also expand nominaUon also by giving more informaUon on how things were done before, what is the principle of a compiler, where was it used first and later. And what is a compiler’s role nowadays.

I am attaching one of the recently approved nominaUon for your perusal. While you do not need to go as far as nominators of the Atlas Computer, extra few hours would be beneficial as the quality of IEEE Milestone nominaUons needs to be on par with papers published in IEEE Journals and TransacUons. At the moment the nomination is rather like an extended abstract and not a short paper, in my view.

I hope it is of help, and I am looking forward to a next version suitable for experts. Kind regards Janina

From: Kate McDeviJ <> Date: Thursday, 2 December 2021 at 09:40 To: Janina Mazierska <> Subject: Re: IEEE Milestone 2020-03 Compiler

Hi Janina, I updated the suggestion you made on the Milestone document. However, reviewing the email, I did not address #4. I am confused by it. Could you me what it is in reference to? Thanks again for all your help on this. Thanks and have a great day, Kate McDeviJ IEEE Philadelphia Membership Chair IEEE WIE Central Area Task Leader

On Sun, Nov 21, 2021 at 3:22 PM Janina Mazierska <> wrote:

Dear Kate and Jason, I would like to make a couple of comments, one for Jason (No.1) and the rest for Kate.

1. I do not see any expert reviews on the ETHW nor any info Who were the experts. Please place the expert reviews there.

2. The explanation on the locaUon of the plaque (see below) is too long, confusing and containing the same sentences as in SupporHng Texts ... below it on the date when the Penn was created and admission of women. I suggest to rewrite it as a direct explanaUon, starUng with locaUon to be at the the University of Pensylvania’ Moore Engineering School, from which a core group of programmers were hired from by Eckert-Mauchly Computer CorporaUon (EMCC) And then about Grace Hopper and to explain briefly the company and its history. There is a lot of good informaUon about Penn there, but it is not relevant to this parUcular QuesUon and needs to go somewhere else.

3. The sentence in the Significance, namely “The invenUon of the compiler led to the InformaUon Age and the beginning of the IT industry” is beter in my view than the sentence in the Citation.

4. There is too little informaUon in the nominaUon on the programmers, including Grace Hopper. Would you please expand. Kind regards Janina

“Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connecHon 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 connecHon 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 mounHng, 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 informaHon visitors will need. 1740 is the founding date of the University of Pennsylvania where the compiler Milestone will be placed. Repeated sentence. When the compiler was being invented, the University’s Moore Engineering School admitted women into all engineering programs in 1954.[1] repeated sentence The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) was the first Computer invented at Penn. No relaUon to the quesUon Eckert-Mauchly Computer CorporaUon (EMCC) was formed at Broad and Spring Garden Streets We have no idea where these streets are. 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. Was the compiler invented at Pen or EMCC? Remington Rand bought the company and EMCC became a subsidiary of Remington Rand at the same locaUon. It later moved to 3747 Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia. The compiler was used in UNIVAC (Universal AutomaUc Computer) which started the informaUon age in 1957. No relation to the question Grace Hopper lectured at Penn for twelve years about the invenUon 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. no relation to the question