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Jean Jennings Bartik was born December 27, 1924, and was raised on a farm near Stanberry, Missouri. She graduated from Stanberry High School in 1941 at the age of 16.
After high school, she attended Northwest Missouri State Teachers College, now Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri. She was the only female Math major at Northwest and graduated in 1945. Jean was recruited by the U.S. Army as a human "computer," to hand calculate the firing trajectories of artillery during World War II.
In the fall of 1945, Bartik was among six women "computers" (known today as programmers) chosen to program the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), the world's first electronic computer. Jean would later go on to program the BINAC and later, the UNIVAC (the world's first commercial computer).
In 1997, Jean and her fellow programmers were inducted into the Women In Technology International Hall of Fame. Jean was given an honorary doctorate from Northwest Missouri State University in 2002.
Learn more about Jean Jennings Bartik at the online Computing Museum, which is an interactive experience with many interesting photo albums.