Great Women of Tech-History: Hedy Lamarr, Grace Hopper, Reshma Saujani and Linda Liukas

Many times we’ve written about wonderful women who’ve changed the world. Since we’ve seen the energy of so many female students in the numerous CRCC’s we’ve done all across the world, we wanted to, once again, dedicate an article to women. We wanted to speak about these 4 phenomenal women who did, or are doing, amazing stuff in the fields of coding, programming, STEM or technology.

Get ready to be surprised with their life stories, with their spectacular achievements, and with the breathtaking legacy these women are leaving in this new, hyper-connected world.

Are you ready to meet these ladies? Well, let us introduce you to these amazing 4 women from the tech world.

Hedy Lamarr: A beautiful actress and the creator of the Wi-Fi 

Hedy Lamarr was a beautiful actress who performed in several movies, both in Europe and in the United States. But besides her undeniable love for performing arts, Hedy had an inventor inside praying to come out. And want to know something? It did come out!

Lamarr learned, during W.W.II that radio-controlled torpedoes, could easily be tracked down and set off their course. When she realized this, she immediately thought of doing something about it and of creating a frequency-hopping signal that as opposed to this other one, could not be tracked.

Since almost every project needs to be done in teams, she got in touch with one of her friends from her time at show-biz, the pianist George Antheil. She wanted Antheil to help her create a device for this purpose, and they succeeded. How? by synchronizing a miniaturized player-piano mechanism with radio signals.

They created a number of prototypes and designs for this frequency-hopping system, until they reached the final version. They patented and called it: “frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology”.

We can imagine how hard it was to actually apply this kind of technology in the early ’40s, but many people affirm that the principles of Hedy’s invention are now used both in WiFi and in Bluetooth.

Grace Hopper: Women, programmer and part of the US Navy

Grace Hopper was an amazing woman. She was born in December 1905. She was part of the US Navy, a student of Yale University and Harvard, an extraordinary inventor, and a very smart programmer.

Hopper began to walk through the path of coding and programming in 1944 when she worked on the Harvard Mark I team. In 1949, she joined the Eckert–Mauchly Computer Corporation and developed various computer models.

It was there when she began ideating and actually building a compiler tool. She actually believed that a programming language based on English was possible to do and create. Her compiler converted English terms into machine code that computers could understand. Today, everything she mentioned back then seems very natural, but don’t forget about which period of time we are talking about. (See? Imagine something simple and fun. Like our Blockly-code visual editor)

Grace Hopper was, with no doubt, a pioneer and a visionary!

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Reshma Saujani: Girls who code!

Reshma Saujani is an American politician and innovator. Among other achievements, she is the founder of Girls Who Code, an international organization advocating to include more and more women in tech fields.

In 2012, Reshma founded this organization. Girls Who Code is a nonprofit organization that works hard to support and increase the number of women in several fields within computer science. As they say themselves they “want to close the gender gap in technology and to change the image of how a programmer should look like”.

They have more than 100,000 members and have partnered-up with huge companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Adobe, and even with the ISCEForganizer of the Cyber Robotics Coding Competitions where students use CoderZ– just to mention a few.

Just like for CoderZ, project-based learning is one of the most important things for this phenomenal NPO. May the code be with them, and with each one of their members!

Linda Liukas: Inspiring tons of children to learn how to code 

Linda Liukas is a fantastic young woman from Finland. She is the author of the book series “Hello Ruby”, an advocate to include more women into the tech fields, a programmer herself, and a lecturer.

We could say many things about Linda, or about the great job she did when raising funds on Kickstarter to launch her book series about girls who program. We could speak about the outstanding way in which she mixes poetry, coding, and literature. But we do know that she can explain it way better than us.

Take a look at this short TED talk and let yourself be surprised by her talent, charisma, knowledge, and impact.

Click on the play button!

Your students: The most important players in this game

 There is one group of girls you must motivate to do bigger and more important things: Your students. Both in CoderZ and in the CRCC events, we encourage all students to create and learn hands-on.

The fact that all students get their very own virtual robot, enables them to solve our gamified missions while empowering themselves. There is no better way of learning than doing. And when we understand education as a process of social interaction, it becomes clear that our online learning environment is walking down the right path.

We invite you to watch a few testimonials from a few of the girls who participated in one of the latest Cyber Robotics Coding Competition. It is up to us to change this world and to show them that they can become whatever they want to become.

In cyber robotics, in virtual robotics, gender is not important. In CoderZ, the code is with everyone. May the code be with them. Let them experience it.

If you want to try-out CoderZ, register now for our 14-day free trial and start experiencing how does it feel to teach STEM with our virtual robotics environment. We can give you a hand!

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