Past Award Recipients Esther Dyson A powerful thinker in the computing industry! Betty Holberton One of the six original programmers of ENIAC Dr. Anita Borg Founder of Systers Jean Sammet Expert in programming languages Margaret H. Hamilton Founder of Higher Order Software Amy D. Wohl President of Wohl Associates Dr. Ruth M. Davis Distinguished in government service Grace Murray Hopper Known for COBOL Dr. Thelma Estrin Professor of computer science at UCLA Frances Elizabeth Snyder Holberton, known as Betty Holberton 1997 Lovelace Award Recipient The 1997 Augusta Ada Lovelace Award AWC's highest award for excellence, was presented to Betty Snyder Holberton at a gala banquet in the Washington D.C. area on March 15, 1997. Betty Holberton, a computing pioneer who was one of the six original programmers of ENIAC 50 years ago, went on to a long and distinguished career. Developed at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) was completed in the fall of 1945 and publicly unveiled in February 1946. It was the first operational, general-purpose, electronic digital computer. Pursued by the Army as a means to speed up calculations required to produce firing tables, ENIAC was first used to solve an important problem for the Manhattan Project. Betty Holberton joined the project at the Moore School in 1942 and continued this work at the U.S. Army Ballistics Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground until 1947 when she left to join the Eckert-Mauchly Electronic Control Company (1947-1950) to help with the development of the UNIVAC. She later worked for Remington-Rand (1950-1953), Applied Mathematics Laboratory, David Taylor Model Basin (1953-1966) and National Bureau of Standards (1966-1983). She influenced the design of portions of the hardware for the UNIVAC and was responsible for much of the software of the first UNIVAC, which was delivered to the U.S. Census bureau in March, 1951, to be used to process the 1950 census results. She devised the first sort-merge generator, for UNIVAC I, which pointed the way for Grace Murray Hopper to develop the earliest compiler. She played an active and influential role in the design and standardization of both COBOL and FORTRAN languages. Grace Hopper later described Betty Holberton as being the best programmer she had ever known. One of her early colleagues said, "Betty could do more logical reasoning while she was asleep than most people can do awake." In recognition of this innovative and pioneering career, the AWC national board has voted to honor Betty Holberton with the Augusta Ada Lovelace Award. Information for this article is taken from "The Women of ENIAC" by W. Barkley Fritz, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Vol 18, Number 3. Banquet Photos Photo credits: Maxine Frutkoff Additional Resources: Programmed to Succeed: Betty Holberton An article in the series Live Wire: Computer Confidence for Women by Rachel K. Adelson ENIAC programmers inducted into the Women in Technology International (WITI) Hall of Fame