Top Secret Rosies Premiere

What: Top Secret Rosies première
When: Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010, doors 6:30, film 7:00
Where: Franklin Institute. Call for reservations: 215-448-1254

A few weeks ago, our new friend LeAnn Erickson gave a great talk about the women who did the math and computer programming behind the scenes during WWII. Her film on that topic, Top Secret Rosies, is premièring next week at the Franklin Institute. Not only that, but she won a grant to take her film on the road and develop teaching materials for it, before it shows up on public TV. Come celebrate with her next week so you can say you knew her way back when. Tickets are free but you have to call for reservations which are running out, so don’t slack!

For immediate release:

In 1942, when computers were human and women were underestimated, a group of female mathematicians helped win a war and usher in the modern computer age. Fall 2010 marks the 65th anniversary of the end of WWII yet their compelling story has never been told, until now.

Filmmaker LeAnn Erickson announces the world premiere of her HD documentary *Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of WWII*, RT 60 minutes, c. 2010. *Top Secret Rosies* shares the little known story of a group of female mathematicians who did secret ballistics research for the US Army during WWII, a handful of whom went on to serve as the programmers of ENIAC, the first electronic computer.

The Franklin Institute of Philadelphia will host the première screening of *Top Secret Rosies* on Thursday, September 23, 7pm in the Franklin Theater. The filmmaker will be available for a question and answer session after the film screening.

Free reservations can be made by calling The Franklin Institute ticketing center at 215-448-1254. Space is limited, so please make your reservations early. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

In war, math may be the most secret weapon of all.

*Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of WWII*

Happy Birthday Alan Turing

On this day in 1912 Alan Mathison Turing was born. Through feats of Math and Engineering he helped save the western world and help found the discipline of Computer Science. He defined Definable Real Numbers, and had several key insights into breaking the Enigma Cipher in World War II. After being convicted for indecency for being a homosexual, and likely because of it, he committed suicide in 1954. And of course the Turing Award is named after him.

Happy Birthday to the late Alan Turing ‘Founder of Computer Science’ (‘IEKYF ROMSI ADXUO KVKZC GUBJ’ in Enigma cypher).

Grace Hopper

A day late for Womans History day, here is a post about another great female geek, Grace Hopper. With a PhD in mathematics from Yale, she became a Naval officer, pushed for Machine Independent programming languages, and became a Rear Admiral in the US Navy.

Wikipedia has a better entry on her than I could ever write, so I’d suggest reading that for a full Bio. Or better, watch her take on The Late Night Show and ham it up. I especially love the “I didn’t know [about computers] Since it was the first one.’ There is also a biography about her out on the shelves.

I first heard about her from her ‘nanosecond’ wire gifts she would give out. After she retired Rear Admiral Hopper became a speaker for DEC, and traveled around and spoke about the history of computers. She was known to give out 11.8 inch long sections of telephone cable, to give people a hands on fee for how far electricity traveled in a nanosecond.