Barbara McClintock - Nobel Prize winning geneticist

wcw_mcclintock_2dec15.jpg"If you know you are on the right track, if you have this inner knowledge, then nobody can turn you off ... no matter what they say." Barbara McClintock

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Katherine Johnson - NASA mathematician

 

Katherine Johnson said: "My dad taught us 'you are as good as anybody in this town, but you're no better.' I don't have a feeling of inferiority. Never had. I'm as good as anybody, but no better."

But probably a lot smarter. She was a "computer" at Langley Research Center "when the computer wore a skirt," said Johnson. More important, she was living out her life's goal, though, when it became her goal, she wasn't sure what it involved.

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Admiral Grace Hopper, pioneering computer programmer

Grace_Hopper_wcw_18nov15.jpg

Rear Admiral Dr. Grace Murray Hopper was a remarkable woman who rose to the challenges of programming the first computers. During her lifetime as a leader in the field of software development concepts, she contributed to the transition from primitive programming techniques to the use of sophisticated compilers. She believed that "we've always done it that way" was not necessarily a good reason to continue to do so.

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Hedy Lamarr, Hollywood pinup & inventor of wi-fi

 Hedy Lamarr and invention

Hedy Lamarr, the glamorous movie star from the black-and-white era of film also co-invented a device that helped make possible the development of GPS, Bluetooth, and current Wi-Fi technology. 

 

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Meet Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize

Marie Curie, illustration by Rosie Riveters co-founders Brittany Greer & Casey Huerta

 

FACT: Not only is Marie Curie the first woman to ever be awarded the Nobel Prize, she is also the only woman to have won it twice, and in two separate sciences (physics and chemistry).

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Youngest licensed female radio operator

From The Electrical Experimenter, October, 1916At the age of 15, Gladys Kathleen Parkin became the youngest person ever to pass the government test for a first class commercial operator’s license and only the third woman in the United States to obtain one.

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The first woman to design an airplane

E. L. Todd at the controls Probably Sept., 1909 Library of Congress Collection

The name E. Lilian Todd isn’t one with which most of us are familiar, but we should be. Miss Todd is recognized as the first woman to design and build an airplane, though she herself never flew it.

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Carol Shaw, The First Female Video Game Developer

Carol Shaw, with the Atari masterpiece River Raid.

This piece by Benj Edwards first appeared on Vintage Computing and Gaming in October 2011

By her own admission, Carol Shaw isn’t your average American woman. Growing up in a world of technology and science traditionally guided by men, she ignored implicit gender barriers and pursued what came to her naturally.

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Emma M Nutt, the world’s first female telephone operator

Emma M Nutt, via Wikipedia

On September 1, 1878 Emma Mills Nutt became the first female telephone operator in the world.

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Emmy Noether — Inventor of abstract algebra

Emmy Noether (photo via Cosmos Magazine / Getty Images)

Noether’s Theorem is to theoretical physics what natural selection is to biology. If you wrote an equation encapsulating all we know about theoretical physics you could label terms contributed by Feynman, Schrödinger, Maxwell and Dirac, but if you wrote “Noether” on the equation it would have to cover the entire thing.

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