Kathy (right) has been crisscrossing the country and presenting her new book Proving Ground: The Untold Story of the Six Women Who Programmed the World’s First Modern Computer.
Proving Ground shares the inspiring story of six programming pioneers, who spent World War II calculating ballistics trajectories for US Army artillery. Then, right after the war ended, they programmed the world’s first modern computer (a secret wartime project) to run these calculations at lighting speed. While their equations made the front pages of newspapers, the ENIAC Programmers were never introduced, and their story was lost for nearly six decades. Fifty years after their work, Kathy met four of the six original ENIAC Programmers, researched, and recorded their stories, and formed a special bond. Now Kathy brings her book, and Docs In Progress documentary, to communities across the country (and world) to help encourage diversity in computer science and STEM professions. History shows: everyone belongs!
The story of the ENIAC Programmers would have been lost without Docs In Progress. While Kathy recorded lengthy oral histories of these ENIAC Programmers, pulling them into a documentary was a difficult task! At Docs In Progress, Kathy learned how to compose a documentary with Adele Schmidt's assistance, went on to work closely with senior producers Jon Palfreman and Kate McMahon and became one of Docs Fiscal Sponsorees. The Computers: The Remarkable Story of the ENIAC Programmer can be seen on Vimeo from Women Make Movies and Vimeo.
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