About this Video
As an undergraduate, I learned that ENIAC was the world’s first modern computer. I discovered a photograph of it, and there were both with men and women in the photograph, but I noted that only the men’s names were in the captions. Despite having been tole that the women in the pictures were simply models, I tracked them down and learned they were ENIAC’s first programmers. Why were they invisible? We recorded extensive oral histories and produced a film entitled: “The Computers: The Remarkable Untold Story of the ENIAC Programmers.” Around the world, their story has now inspired girls, boys, women and men in STEM. May it inspire many more! And may computing history rapidly evolve to embrace its diverse pioneers!
About the Speaker
Kathy Kleiman discovered the ENIAC Programmers as a Harvard undergraduate and a female programmer in search of role models and inspiration. Her junior paper and senior thesis explored the missing chapter of computer history – the ENIAC Programmers and many other women who were pioneers in early programming and software. A decade later, upon learning that most of the ENIAC Programmers were not invited to the ENIAC’s 50th Anniversary she set out to record their oral histories, seek recognition for their accomplishments and produce the first feature documentary to tell their dramatic story.
So much of the work is done. Kathy and award-winning film producer David Roland recorded 20 hours of broadcast quality oral histories with the ENIAC Programmers. Nominated by Kathy, the Programmers have received awards at the highest level of computing. Now Kathy seeks to turn these oral histories, and the story entrusted to her, into an inspiring documentary.
Further, with the passing of Jean Bartik just recently, on March 23, 2011, Kathy has decided to devote this year to the completion of documentary, and the full telling of this powerful story to all – especially young women.
Recent Director of Policy for .ORG, The Public Interest Registry, Kathy has been a leader in debates over the future of the Internet and helped shape policies of the Domain Name System. Part of the group that founded the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers(ICANN), and a co-founder of ICANN’s Noncommercial Users Constituency, Kathy speaks regularly and works frequently on issues of online free speech, fair use, online security and privacy. The ENIAC Programmers remain a constant inspiration to her work.