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2 Jean E Sammet

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Jean E. Sammet received a BA from Mount Holyoke College and an MA from the University of Illinois, both in Mathematics. She started work in the computer field at Sperry Gyroscope in 1955 and supervised their first scientific programming group. She taught graduate courses in programming at Adelphi College (1956-58).

From 1958-61, she worked at Sylvania Electric Products and managed the basic software development for MOBIDIC, a computer built for the Army Signal Corps. In 1959-61, she served as a key member of The CODASYL Short Range Committee that developed COBOL.

Sammet joined IBM in l961 and organized and managed the Boston Advanced Programming Department. She initiated the concept, and directed the development of FORMAC (FORmula MAnipulation Compiler), the first widely used language and system for doing symbolic mathematics. Her 1969 book, "PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES: History and Fundamentals" was described by others as the "standard work on programming languages" and "an instant computer classic." She led the IBM Federal Systems Division work on Ada, and held various other staff and management positions.

She held numerous positions in ACM, including vice president (1972-74) and president (1974-76). She was the general chair and program chair for the 1978 ACM SIGPLAN History of Programming Languages Conference (HOPL), and was the program chair for HOPL-II held in 1993.

Sammet served as the first chair of the AFIPS History Committee (1977-79), during which she helped establish the journal "Annals of the History of Computing." She served on the Board of Directors of The Computer Museum in Boston (1983-93).

Among other honors, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (1977), received an honorary ScD from Mount Holyoke College (1978) and the ACM Distinguished Service Award (1985), and was in the initial group of ACM Fellows (1994).