Posted: April 9, 2021
Women in Telecommunications
As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we wanted to highlight some of the amazing achievements women have made to Telecommunications throughout history. Because of their expertise and knowledge, we are able to listen to our favorite songs off of our phone in our car, search the web for any question that pops into our head, and even made it possible to work from home!
Hedy Lamarr was an incredible inventor and actress during the 1940s. She was most well known for her Oscar worthy performances, but what few do not know is that she is responsible for the patent for frequency-hopping technology that we still use today for GPS, Bluetooth, and even wi-fi connection! Because of the work a Hollywood bombshell put into helping the U.S. government in an effort to protect their wartime radio communications to “hop” from one frequency to another, we have a form of technology we use multiple times a day without even thinking about it!
Mary Allen Wilkes
Mary Wilkes was a skilled computer programmer who graduated from Wellesley College in 1959. She is best known for her work with the LINC computer, which is now recognized as the first personal computer for home use. She was also the first person to ever have a PC in her home! Personal computers and laptops have revolutionized the world we now know today. Without the use of personal computers, we would not have been able to keep as many people working through the stay-at-home orders.
Karen Sparck Jones
Karen Sparck Jones started working on Information retrieval (IR) which is still being used for web search engines today. She set the standard for large proportions of the work in natural language processing (NPL) in the US and other countries. Jones introduced the method of “term weighing” in information retrieval which is used to determine which terms are most relevant when you search for something online. So, when Google picks up on your misconstrued thoughts to still give you the answer you’re looking for, you can thank Karen!
There are so many incredible women and developments they have achieved within STEM and telecommunications, with only more to come in the future! We are grateful to all of their hard work and glass shattering personalities to create and inspire the technology for our lives depend on now. To end with a quote Nichelle Nichols, former NASA Ambassador and Star Trek actress "Science is not a boy's game, it's not a girl's game. It's everyone's game. It's about where we are and where we're going. There's more exploration to come." We cannot wait to see what the future holds for the new age of women in Science, and what life changing development they will uncover next.