Ruth Teitelbaum

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Ruth Teitelbaum (née Lichterman) (1924–1986) was one of the original programmers for the ENIAC computer and one of the first computer programmers in the world.

Ruth Teitelbaum

Life[edit]

Programmers Ruth Lichterman (crouching) and Marlyn Wescoff (standing) wiring the right side of the ENIAC with a new program.

Education[edit]

Teitelbaum graduated from Hunter College with a B.Sc. in Mathematics. She was hired by the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania to compute ballistics trajectories. The Moore School was funded by the US Army during the Second World War. Here a group of about 80 women worked manually calculating ballistic trajectories - complex differential calculations. These women were called "computers". In 1945, the Army decided to fund an experimental project - the first all-electronic digital computer and six of the women "computers" were selected to be its first programmers. Teitelbaum was among these six. [1]

Career[edit]

Teitelbaum was selected as one of the first programmers for the ENIAC, which was the first all-electronic digital computer. The computer was a huge machine of 40 black 8-foot panels. The programmers had to physically conduct the ballistic program using 3000 switches and dozens of switches and digital trays to route the data and program pulses through the machine.[1]

Along with Marlyn Meltzer, Teitelbaum was part of a special area of the ENIAC project. Using analog technology, they calculated ballistic trajectory equations. [2] In 1946, the ENIAC computer was unveiled before the public and the press. The six women were the only generation of programmers to program the ENIAC and they went on to teach programming techniques to others.

The other six working on the ENIAC were Jean Bartik, Betty Holberton, Kathleen McNulty, Mauchly Antonelli, Marlyn Meltzer, and Frances Spence.[3]

Death[edit]

Ruth Teitelbaum died in 1986 in Dallas, Texas.[1]

Accomplishments[edit]

Although she played a pivotal role in the rise of computers, she was given little credit toward the foundations of the ENIAC. [2] She travelled with ENIAC to the Ballistics Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds where she remained for two more years to train the next group of ENIAC programmers.[4]

In 1997, she was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame, along with the other five original ENIAC programmers. Teitelbaum husband accepted the award in memory of her. [5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Ruth Teitelbaum - Engineering and Technology History Wiki". ethw.org. Retrieved 2017-10-03. 
  2. ^ a b IEEE Global Network "Ruth Teitelbaum" http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki6/index.php/Ruth_Teitelbaum Ret. March 2014
  3. ^ "Finding the forgotten women who programmed the world's first electronic computer". Public Radio International. Retrieved 2017-10-03. 
  4. ^ Martin Gay: Recent Advances and Issues in Computers, The Oryx Press, Phoenix/Arizona, 2000, pp.106/107
  5. ^ "Ruth Teitelbaum - Engineering and Technology History Wiki". ethw.org. Retrieved 2017-10-03. 

External links[edit]