KATIE HAFNER: Hi there Science Chat Viewers / Howdy 60-Second Science Listeners!
I’m Katie Hafner, the host of Shed Women of Science. Just about every season is devoted to the daily life and work of a single scientist who hasn’t gotten the recognition she warrants.
We’re contacting this season “A Grasshopper in Incredibly Tall Grass,” and it’s all about Klara Dan von Neumann. Klari, as she was referred to as by friends, was just one of the world’s first laptop programmers.
I’ve been producing about pcs for a actually prolonged time, extra than 30 many years in point. I even wrote a history of the internet in 1996, referred to as Where Wizards Stay Up Late. And the wizards? All guys.
I have been on this beat for so prolonged, I imagined I understood all the main figures. But then I stumbled upon Klara von Neumann’s title this previous yr, and I drew a blank. How experienced I missed her?
When I asked some major-hitters in the computer science earth about her, they all had the identical reaction: Who?
I could not shake this experience that below was this truly “lost” lady of computing–who was nonetheless linked to quite very well-acknowledged histories and folks. She was concerned in nuclear weapons study, she labored for Los Alamos, she coded for the ENIAC, one particular of the earliest electronic computer systems.
And she ran in a circle of popular scientists—people like Albert Einstein, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and her have partner, John von Neumann, a popular Hungarian scientist who was viewed as just one of the smartest individuals alive.
I believed Klari could teach us a issue or two about this time–the dawn of digital computers and nuclear warfare. And so we commenced digging. This season is the outcome of what we found.
Here’s the trailer:
Mysterious #1: Do I know who Klara von Neumann is?
Not known #2: I’m humiliated to say I’ve in no way listened to of her.
Unknown #1: Was not she, did not she have anything to do with the weather?
Mysterious #3: I have heard of John von Neumann
Mysterious #4: I’m not even certain how to pronounce her title.
Not known #5: Was she linked to Newman on Seinfeld?
KATIE HAFNER: I am Katie Hafner, host of Missing Women of all ages of Science, exactly where we uncover the extraordinary perform of neglected experts.
NATHAN ENSMENGER: What Klara von Neumann is undertaking is encouraging to determine what is possible on this new kind of equipment.
MARINA WHITMAN: She finally turned kind of a tremendous programmer.
KATIE HAFNER: Their tales are typically untold. Their contributions unacknowledged.
GEORGE DYSON: Klara’s function was, kind sorta concealed due to the fact she experienced labored on the really magic formula bomb calculations.
CLAIRE EVANS: Females got to be programmers and bought to make these types of a massive effects on programming simply because that job was observed as not remaining significant.
KATIE HAFNER: In 1947, it was Klara and her code that built nuclear weapons simulations doable.
ANANYO BHATTACHARYA: Programming was this entirely new self-discipline, so really all people was beginning on the floor floor as it ended up.
MARINA WHITMAN: She constantly stated she preferred it mainly because she preferred puzzles. And this was a sort of puzzle.
THOMAS HAIGH: I imply, she’s like at Los Alamos as someone with totally no coaching in physics or mathematics chatting a single-on-a person with Nobel prize winners, which is fairly remarkable.
KATIE HAFNER: And she was doing work with a model new engineering, deep within a world without end improved by nuclear weapons.
CLAIRE EVANS: There is certainly this link among death and computing that is inextricable and inescapable in this record.
KATIE HAFNER: Be part of us as we find to comprehend the origins of present day computing, via one remarkable woman’s tale.
GEORGE DYSON: She was type of there at the minute of creation. If you search at this as a form of, you know, cradle in a manger form of issue, she, she was keeping the cradle.
KATIE HAFNER: Time 2 of Misplaced Women of all ages of Science coming March 31st. Hear wherever you get your podcasts.
KATIE HAFNER: This time will consider us on a journey from wild functions in Budapest and gambling sprees in Monte Carlo to the staid educational environment of Princeton and the wild west of Los Alamos in New Mexico. Klari’s eventful life presents shade to this pivotal minute in record.
Married four–maybe five–times. Determine skating winner. Personal computer pioneer. How could we have missed her?
Tune in to Dropped Females of Science to get the whole story of a grasshopper in extremely tall grass.