From Grace Hopper to Ada Lovelace: women who revolutionized computer science

Today’s Google Doodle honors computer science whiz Grace Hopper, who led the team that invented Common Business-Oriented Language, or COBOL, the first programming language that used words instead of numbers.

3. Carol Shaw

Though Silicon Valley has long been known as a male-dominated work environment, the early days gave rise to the woman widely regarded as the first woman video game designer: Carol Shaw. Ms. Shaw was the programmer behind early Atari hits such as 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe (1978) and Video Checkers (1980). Later, she worked for third-party developer Activision where she created the smash hit River Raid in 1982. The daughter of a mechanical engineer and stay-at-home mother, she got her BS in engineering and MA in computer science from University of California-Berkeley. She later worked for Tandem (a computer programming company) and retired in 1990, but continued to volunteer and work part-time in programming until 2001. She lives in California with her husband Ralph Merkle, a nanotechnology researcher.

3 of 6
of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.