Illustration for article titled How Female Computers Helped Win WWII

Forget Rosie the Riveter. The real female heroes of WWII were the human computers who calculated bomb trajectories and more in the pre-digital age. This is their story.


The trailer above for "Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of World War II," is just a glimpse at the 100 women who turned the tide of the last century's greatest confrontation with sheer brain power. Not only that, but some of the mathematically minded enlistees went on to help program ENIAC, the first ever general-purpose computer. According to CNN:

The war ended in 1945, but within a couple months of arriving in Philadelphia, Bartik was hired to work on a related project — an electronic computer that could do calculations faster than any man or woman.. Men had built [ENIAC], but Bartik and her colleagues debugged every vacuum tube and learned how to make it work, she said... They'd taught the massive machine do math that would've taken hours by hand.

It's a contribution that's been overlooked and neglected, amazingly so considering how vital a job the human computers had. Let's hope this helps them get their due. [BoingBoing]

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