Admiral Grace Hopper’s Log Book Contains The Original Computer Bug

Dr. Kevin Dankwardt observing a rare find

Tim Barrios, Damon Beyer, Kevin Dankwardt, and I were computer science majors at the University of Lousiana at Lafayette from 1977 to 1981. We were also Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) members. In fact, as juniors, we formed a team and won 1st place in the annual ACM programming contest at our school. As seniors, we came in 2nd place because I tried to make a change to our code on the fly (as I typed it in) and inadvertently introduced a logic error. That bug was on me. Did you ever wonder why computer programming errors are called bugs?

Our ACM meetings featured guest lecturers, one of which was Admiral Grace Hopper. Admiral Hopper was a computer scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral. In 1944, she was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer and invented the first compiler for a computer programming language. A compiler converts what the programmer types in (in a programming language)…

Read more