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IEEE Grace Hopper A-0 Milestone Celebration

May 7 at 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Join us as we honor Grace Hopper with the unveiling of the IEEE Milestone Plaque recognizing the invention of the A-O Compiler.

The Compiler is one of the fundamental technologies in the history of computing. The invention of the compiler made it possible to write high-level computer programs, which in turn led to increased programmer productivity and reduced rates of error.

10:00-11:00 a.m, Greenberg Lounge, Skirkanich Hall

Remarks given by:
Rear Admiral Michael S. Richman, Deputy Commander for Cyber Engineering for the US Navy
Dr. Kathleen Kramer, IEEE President-Elect
Kate McDevitt, IEEE Philadelphia
Dr. Vijay Kumar, Nemirovsky Family Dean of Penn Engineering
Dr. Stephanie Weirich, ENIAC President’s Distinguished Professor of Computer and Information Science
Dr. Laura Stubbs, Sr. Director of Penn Engineering’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Dr. Jing (Jane) Li, Associate Professor of  Electrical and Systems Engineering
*Dr. Andre DeHon, Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering

Plaque Unveiling Ceremony
11:00-11:15 a.m., Suite 100, Moore Building

A reception will follow.


In-Person Attendance
Seating is limited for in-person attendance, so we ask that you please RSVP here.

Remote Attendance
We welcome all to join us remotely using this Zoom link
Meeting ID: 987 9944 7091
Passcode: 871077
A recording of the program will be posted here following the event.


IEEE Milestone Plaque Citation
A-O Compiler and Initial Development of Automatic Programming, 1951-1952
During 1951-1952, Grace Hopper invented the A-O Compiler, a series of specifications that functioned as a linker/loader. It was a pioneering achievement of automatic programming as well as a pioneering utility program for the management of subroutines. That A-O Compiler influenced the development of arithmetic and business programming languages. This led to COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language) becoming the dominant high-level language for business applications.


About Grace Hopper
Rear Admiral Grace Hopper was a mathematician, computer scientist, systems designer and the inventor of the compiler. Her outstanding contributions to computer science benefited academia, industry and the military. In 1928 she graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in mathematics and physics and joined the Vassar faculty. While an instructor, she continued her studies in mathematics at Yale University where she earned an MA in 1930 and a Ph.D. in 1934.

Grace Hopper is known worldwide for her work with the first large-scale digital computer, the Navy’s Mark I. In 1949 she joined Philadelphia’s Eckert-Mauchly, founded by the builders of ENIAC, which was building UNIVAC I. Her work on compilers and on making machines understand ordinary language instructions lead ultimately to the development of the business language, COBOL. Grace Hopper served on the faculty of the Moore School for 15 years, and in 1974 received an honorary degree from the University.


*Professor Andre DeHon is the organizer and contact for this event.


May 7
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Penn Engineering
View Organizer Website


Greenberg Lounge (Room 114), Skirkanich Hall
210 South 33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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