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Posted on: August 1, 2022

Proving Ground by Kathy Kleiman

Proving Ground

“Fans of Dava Sobel’s The Glass Universe and Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures are in for a treat” (Publishers Weekly) with this untold, World War II-era story of the six American women who programmed the world's first modern computer.

 

After the end of World War II, the race for technological supremacy sped on. Top-secret research into ballistics and computing, begun during the war to aid those on the front lines, continued across the United States as engineers and programmers rushed to complete their confidential assignments. Among them were six pioneering women, tasked with figuring out how to program the world's first general-purpose, programmable, all-electronic computer--better known as the ENIAC— even though there were no instruction codes or programming languages in existence. While most students of computer history are aware of this innovative machine, the great contributions of the women who programmed it were never told -- until now. 

 

Over the course of a decade, Kathy Kleiman met with four of the original six ENIAC Programmers and recorded extensive interviews with the women about their work. PROVING GROUND restores these women to their rightful place as technological revolutionaries. As the tech world continues to struggle with gender imbalance and its far-reaching consequences, the story of the ENIAC Programmers' groundbreaking work is more urgently necessary than ever before, and PROVING GROUND is the celebration they deserve. 

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