In pictures: The unsung women of technology

Sure, you've heard of Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper. But how about Frances Allen, Deborah Estrin or Radia Perlman?

Mary Allen Wilkes: Operating system designer

Mary Allen Wilkes conceptualized and implemented the first computer operating system. She was working at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory in 1959 where she had the opportunity to work on some early computers, like the IBM 709 and the TX-2. While there in 1965 she designed the console for the Laboratory Instrument Computer (LINC) and wrote the operating system that sat between the program and the computer's hardware.

She completed a great deal of this work by using a LINC at her home, making her among the first home computer users. In 1975, Wilkes decided to leave the computing world to become a lawyer.

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