The Community for Technology Leaders
RSS Icon
Subscribe
Issue No.01 - January/March (2009 vol.31)
pp: 76-85
Thomas J. (Tim) Bergin , American University
CITATION
Thomas J. (Tim) Bergin, "Jean Sammet: Programming Language Contributor and Historian, and ACM President", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.31, no. 1, pp. 76-85, January/March 2009, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2009.14
REFERENCES
1. Although Jean has been highlighted in numerous articles in the technical media, the best sources are oral histories by Janet Abbate and by Tim Bergin. The opening paragraphs of this biography follow the Abbate oral history. Abbate plans to archive the history at the IEEE History Center. A faculty member at Virginia Tech, Abbate can be contacted at abbate@vt.edu. My oral history of Jean focuses on her ACM activities; see the ACM Digital Library: http://portal.acm.org citation.cfm?id=1141880.1243440 .
2. In the Abbate oral history, Jean mentioned that, in 1944, few potential students visited colleges prior to admission because of the limitations imposed during World War II.
3. Abbate, p. 5.
4. Abbate, p. 10.
5. D.E. Lundstrom, A Few Good Men from Univac, MIT Press, 1987, p. 7.
6. Her second year of teaching (1957–1958) was made easier by the publication of D. McCracken's Digital Computer Programming (Wiley, 1957) and by the availability of the Fortran language.
7. See "Employment Ads Said to Show Bias: 75 Advertisers Are Cited by Federal Commission," New York Times, 10 Aug. 1966, p. 22; "12 Women Picket Times, Charging Segregation in Ads," NYT, July 1968, p. 19; "Designation of Sex in Want Ads Studied," NYT, 8 Feb. 1969, p. 27.
8. See T. Bergin, "Carl Hammer (1914–2004)," Biographies, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 28, no. 2, 2006, pp. 81-86.
9. For more on the Mobidic project, see W. Humphrey, "Mobidic and Fieldata," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 9, no. 2, 1987, pp. 137-182.
10. For perspective, Digital Equipment Corp. released the PDP-8 minicomputer in 1965, MITS introduced the Altair (in kit form) in 1975, and Apple introduced the Apple II in 1977.
11. About 40 representatives from computer manufacturers, government and nongovernment users, and consultants were in attendance. For additional background, see Sammet, Programming Languages: History and Fundamentals, Prentice Hall, 1969, p. 330 ff, and "The Early History of COBOL," History of Programming Languages, R.L. Wexelblat, ed., Academic Press, 1981, pp. 199-277; ACM DL: http://doi.acm.org/ 10.1145800025.1198367 .
12. Although a few scientific languages had been developed, such as Fortran, the only commercial language was Flow-Matic, developed for the Univac under Grace Hopper's leadership at Remington Rand. See Sammet, "Farewell to Grace Hopper—End of an Era!" Comm. ACM, vol. 35, no. 4, 1992, pp. 128-131; ACM DL: http://doi.acm.org/10.1145129852.214846.
13. Most references refer to Codasyl as an industry consortium; however, according to Sammet, "Codasyl as an organization never existed." See Sammet, "The Early History of COBOL," p. 265.
14. This was the official name of the committee that created the original Cobol language. The committee was later renamed "the Cobol Committee." See Sammet, "The Early History of COBOL," p. 210.
15. Jean Sammet and Vernon Reeves from Sylvania, William Selden and Gertrude Tierney from IBM, and Howard Bromberg and Norman Discount from RCA.
16. Department of Defense, Cobol, Initial Specifications for a Common Business Oriented Language, #1960 0-552133, US Government Printing Office, April 1960.
17. The example given in Sammet (see Ref. 18) is that the system would manipulate formulas of the type done in high school and college mathematics—for example, expansion of expressions, formal differentiation, and substitution in contrast to the numeric calculation capabilities of languages like Fortran.
18. Formac (Formula Manipulation Compiler) was the first language for symbolic mathematics that had significant use. See J.E. Sammet, "The Beginning and Development of FORMAC," History of Programming Languages—II, T.J. Bergin, and R.G. Gibson, eds., ACM Press/Addison- Wesley, 1996, pp. 429-469.
19. See J.E. Sammet, "Roster of Programming Languages—1967," , Computers and Automation, vol. 16, no. 6, 1967, pp. 80-82; "RPL—1968," C&A, vol. 17, no. 6, 1968, pp. 120-123; "RPL—1969," C&A, vol. 18, no. 7, 1969, pp. 153-158; "RPL—1970," C&A, vol. 19, no. 6B, 1970, pp. 6-11, 21; "RPL—1971," C&A, vol. 20, no. 6B, 1971, pp. 6-13; "RPL—1972," C&A, vol. 21, no. 6B, 1972, pp. 1-11.
20. "RPL—1973," Computing Reviews, vol. 15, no. 4, 1974, pp. 147-160; "RPL—1974-75," Comm. ACM, vol. 19, no. 12, 1976, pp. 655-669; and "RPL—1976-77," ACM SIGPLAN Notices, vol. 13, no. 11, 1978, pp. 56-85.
21. For example, "Problems in, and a Pragmatic Approach to, Programming Language Measurement," AFIPS 1971 Fall Joint Computer Conf., AFIPS Press, 1971, pp. 243-251; "Programming Languages: History and Future," Comm. ACM, vol. 15, no. 7, 1972, pp. 601-610; and "History of IBM's Technical Contributions to High Level Programming Languages," IBM J. R&D, vol. 25, no. 5, 1981, pp. 520-534.
22. Abbate, p. 49.
23. J.E. Sammet, Programming Languages: History and Fundamentals, Prentice Hall, 1969.
24. Abbate, p. 57; see also Bergin, oral history, Day Three, 11 Apr. 2006, pp. 9-12.
25. For a history of Ada, see W.A. Whitaker, "ADA—The Project: The DoD High Order Language Working Group," History of Programming Languages, Bergin, and Gibson, pp. 173-232.
26. Bergin, oral history, Day Four, 18 Apr. 2006, pp. 1-4.
27. Ibid., p. 1; see also Abbate, oral history, p. 58.
28. Bergin, oral history, Day One, 28 Mar. 2006, pp. 1-2.
29. At this time, ACM local chapters were represented by regional representatives.
30. At this time, most ACM Council members were elected regional representatives. Jean urged a change in the ACM constitution that created a more balanced approach—where special interests were better represented and which made the chair for SIG/SICs a member of the Council.
31. The vice president has the statutory responsibilities to oversee the numerous ACM committees and boards.
32. In "ACM: The Past 15 Years, 1972–1987," Comm. ACM, vol. 30, no. 19, 1987, p. 869, Anita Cochran states that "Sammet was the first woman to lead ACM and became president after many years of activity in the association, particularly in the SIG movement."
33. ACM SIGCSE Bull., Computer Science Education, vol. 6, no. 4, 1974, pp. 5-15.
34. "Recommended Future Directions for ACM: Summary of Final Report of Long Range Planning Committee May 1973 to November 1974," Comm. ACM, vol. 18, no. 2, 1975, pp. 77-90.
35. Ibid., p. 77.
36. J.A.N. Lee, Computer Pioneers, p. 603: "In those positions she played a key role in restoring ACM to a healthy financial condition."
37. Bergin, oral history, Day Three, 11 Apr. 2006, pp. 14-17.
38. For an overview of HOCC activities, see J.E. Sammet, "General AFIPS History of Computing Activities," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 1, no. 1, 1979, pp. 6-8.
39. See AFIPS, "Preserving Computer-Related Source Materials," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 2, no. 1, 1980, pp. 4-6. Note: Nancy Stern prepared the brochure as part of the HOCC activities noted previously.
40. The premier issue ( vol. 1, no. 1, July 1979) contains a number of historically important documents, among them a foreword by A. Finerman, chairman of the AFIPS Publications Committee; "About This Issue," by the editor in chief, Bernard Galler; and "General AFIPS History of Computing Activities," by J.E. Sammet, which provides a history of Annals'gestation. See also, Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 2, no. 1, 1980, pp. 75-76. Note: AFIPS created a trial issue of a journal called ABACUSin 1977.
41. Bergin, oral history, Day Four, 18 Apr. 2006, pp. 4-7.
42. E.A. Weiss, "Commentaries on the Past 15 Years," Comm. ACM, vol. 30, no. 10, 1987, p. 881.
43. A. Cochran, "ACM: The Past 15 Years, 1972–1987," Comm. ACM, vol. 30, no. 10, 1987, p. 869.
44. For a full discussion of the history of the HOPL conferences, see T.J. (Tim) Bergin, "A History of the History of Programming Languages," Comm. ACM, vol. 50, no. 5, 2007, pp. 69-74.
45. Bergin, oral history, Day Four, 18 Apr. 2006, p. 9.
46. John A. N. Lee served as editor in chief of the Annalsfrom 1987 to 1995.
47. Hank Tropp was a faculty member in the Humboldt State University (California) Department of Mathematics and had done a number of oral interviews of computer pioneers for the American Federation of Information Processing Societies (AFIPS); Tropp also served as Annalsfirst Reviews editor and was a member of the first editorial board.
48. J.A.N. Lee, ed., "Guidelines for the Documentation of Segments of the History of Computing," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 13, no. 1, 1991, pp. 51-62.
49. The papers from this conference are available in the ACM Digital Library at http://portal.acm.orgtoc.cfm?id=800025. The edited papers and transcripts, as well as other conference materials were published as R.L. Wexelblat, History of Programming Languages, Academic Press, 1981.
50. Bergin, oral history of Jean E. Sammet, Day Four.
51. Wexelblat, History of Programming Languages, pp. 199-243.
52. Ibid., p. xiii.
53. The Annals of the History of Computingwas originally sponsored by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies (AFIPS).
54. N. Stern, "From an Historian's Perspective," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 1, no. 1, 1979, pp. 68-69.
55. J.J. Horning, "Additional Viewpoints," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 1, no. 1, 1979, pp. 69-71. [emphasis added]
56. Other members of the HOPL Program Committee who also served on the Annalseditorial board were Robert F. Rosin and Henry Tropp. See A. Akera, "The Life and Work of Bernard A. Galler (1928–2006)," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 4-14.
57. B.A. Galler, "About this Issue," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 5, no. 3, 1983, p. 223.
58. J.E. Sammet, "Self-Study Questions," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 5, no. 3, 1983, pp. 302-303.
59. This discussion follows the editor's and general introductions in Bergin and Gibson, A History of Programming Languages —II, pp. vii-x.
60. The languages selected were Ada, Algol 68, C, C++, CLU, Discrete Event Simulation Languages, Formac, Forth, Icon, Lisp, Monitors and Concurrent Pascal, Pascal, Prolog, and Smalltalk.
61. J.E. Sammet, "General Introduction," in Bergin and Gibson, p. x.
62. J.E. Sammet, "From HOPL to HOPL II (1978–1993): 15 Years of Programming Language Development," History of Programming Languages—II, Bergin, and Gibson, pp. 16-24.
63. The unedited papers are available in the ACM Digital Library at http://portal.acm.orgtoc. cfm?id=154766. For the entire proceedings, see Bergin and Gibson, A History of Programming Languages—II.
64. See http://research.ihost.com/hoplHOPL-III.html .
65. The languages presented were AppleScript, BETA, C++, Emerald, Erlang, Haskell, HP Fortran, Lua, Modula-2 and Oberon, Self, Statecharts, and. ZPL. For an overview, see: T.J. (Tim) Bergin, "History of Programming Languages Conference (HOPL III)," in Events and Sightings, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 29, no. 3, 2007, pp. 64-65.
66. Edited papers are available in the ACM Digital Library at http://portal.acm.orgtoc. cfm?id=1238844&type=proceeding&coll= portal&dl=ACM .
67. B. Ryder, personal communication, 4 Nov. 2007.
68. See http://fellows.acm.orgfellow_citation. cfm?id=1004423&srt=alpha&alpha=S .
20 ms
(Ver 2.0)

Marketing Automation Platform Marketing Automation Tool