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Raised in New York City, I was denied early admission to Vassar College at age 16 because of low Latin test scores...but was admitted at age 17.

After getting a B.A. in mathematics and physics, I earned both a M.S. and Ph.D. in mathematics at Yale, with my dissertation New Types of Irreducibility Criteria.

After starting to teach mathematics at Vassar, 1943, I asked for a leave of absence to serve in the United States Navy Reserve during WWII.

During WWII, I was assigned to the Bureau of Ships Computation Project at Harvard University, working as a programmer on the Mark I computer under Howard H. Aiken.

After the war, I declined a full professorship at Vasser to continue work as a research fellow under a Navy contract.

Later, on the programming team at Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (UNIVAC), I developed the first compiler for a computer programming language and conceived the idea of machine-independent programming languages...leading to the language COBOL.

My real claim to fame is my popularization of the term "debugging," after finding an actual moth that caused a computer glitch.

I retired to become a Goodwill Ambassador for Digital Equipment Corporation, giving talks on the early days of computers and programming...and often handed out 30 cm lengths of wire to illustrate a nanosecond (the distance light travels in one nanosecond).

Answer: Grace Murray Hopper (1906 1992)