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Kimberly Blessing Hi, my name is Kimberly Blessing. I'm a computer scientist, Web developer, standards evangelist, feminist, and geek. This is where I write about life, the Web, technology, women's issues, and whatever else comes to mind.

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In Memoriam: Kathleen Mauchly Antonelli

Kathleen Mauchly Antonelli (nee McNulty), one of the 6 female programmers of the , passed away Thursday, April 20, 2006.

was one of the six original programmers of the ENIAC machine (the world’s first all-electronic computer), thus making her one of the world’s first programmers. Initially, she was hired by Aberdeen Proving Grounds to be a “Computer” where ballistics trajectory equations were calculated by hand to make firing tables for guns and cannons during World War II. Ms. Antonelli was quickly promoted to working on, and then supervising, these calculations on the Differential Analyzer, an electro-mechanical analog calculating device. With the invention of ENIAC, these computations went from taking 40 hours (by hand), to an hour (by Analyzer), to just mere seconds (by ENIAC) and Ms. Antonelli was recruited into the initial programming team. Without prior training and only schematics to work with, the all-woman team programmed ENIAC. After WWII, she helped some of the world’s leading mathematicians use ENIAC, and helped teach the next generation of computer programmers. In 1997 Antonelli was inducted into the Women In Technology International (WITI) Hall of Fame. Ms. Antonelli received her Bachelors Degree in Mathematics from Chestnut Hill College in 1942.

I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Antonelli at the 2004 . My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.