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Sister Mary Kenneth Keller

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Sister Mary Kenneth Keller (Evelyn Marie Keller) was an American computer scientist who helped create the computer language BASIC.[1] She was also the first female in the United States to get a Ph.D. in computer science.[2][1] Her thesis work focused on making algorithms that performed analytic differential on algebraic expressions.[2]

Evelyn Marie Kenneth was born on December 13, 1913.[3] She was born in Cleveland, Ohio.[3] She lived most of her life in Chicago, Michigan, before she began studying computer science.[3]

She joined the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary congregation.[3] She was assigned to teach elementary school and high school.[3] She taught for 29 years.[3] Keller earned her B.A. in Mathematical Sciences, and Master's Degree in mathematics at DePaul University.[2] [3] She went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and became the first woman to have a Ph.D. in computer science.[2][1] She resumed teaching and took side classes all the while.

She did graduate work at Purdue, the University of Michigan, and Dartmouth College.[3][2] She became the first female staff member in their previously male-only computer science center and led it for 20 years.[3] She also taught at Clarke University and established a master’s degree program for computer science there.[3] Another one of her achievements was working on the development of the computer language BASIC.[1]


References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Sister Mary Kenneth Keller - Computing History". www.computinghistory.org.uk. Retrieved 2024-02-09.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Lovos, Milagros (2023-08-25). "About Mary Kenneth Keller". IEEE Computer Society. Retrieved 2024-02-09.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 "CSDL | IEEE Computer Society". www.computer.org. Retrieved 2024-02-09.