WMUK, the local public radio station in Kalamazoo, did a radio show on January 15, 2014 about my mother, Jean Jennings Bartik (1924-2011). The show was prompted by the recent publication of her memoirs, Pioneer Programmer: Jean Jennings Bartik and the Computer that Changed the World. The station has posted a short description of the show’s topic, and a link to about a 17 minute broadcast. The show consisted of an interview with me, and with Kathryn Kleiman of the Eniac Programmers Project, who is nearing completion of a documentary on the ENIAC programmers.
My mother was one of the first six computer programmers, all women, on the ENIAC, which was the computer that in 1946 directly led to the development of the modern computer industry. Her story was ignored for many years, and is still unknown by many. I know that one of my mother’s main motivations in writing the book was so that the story of the ENIAC programmers might help increase the representation of women in computing and other science and technology fields. Role models matter.
My mother’s book is available at Truman State University Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBook, and a Kalamazoo bookstore, Bookbug. All proceeds from the book will go to support a scholarship for women in science and technology at my mother’s alma mater, Northwest Missouri State University.