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Christine Belzie
Christine Belzie

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Who Would You Have Lunch With?: Womxn in Tech Edition

My response

If I had a chance to have lunch with a womxn icon in tech dead or alive, it would be Valerie Thomas.

Who is Valerie Thomas?

A black and white photo of Valerie Thomas standing next to a stack of early Landsat Computer Compatible Tapes

She is the inventor of the illusion transmitter, a tool that could reproduce an image at a remote site using parabolic mirrors(also known as the piece of technology that inspired the creation of 3D movies).

Patent for the illusion transmitter

I admire her relentless pursuit in creativity and discovery of ways to create tech that enhances our lives, especially during a time where womxn, especially Black womxn, were overlooked.

Now it's your turn. If you had a chance to have lunch with a womxn trailblazer in tech(dead or alive), who would it be? Share in them comments below.


Image of Valerie and her patented illusion transmitter by eloise.edgington
Image of womxn eating lunch by Freepik

Top comments (6)

phlash profile image
Phil Ashby

Tempting to say Grace Hopper or Hedy Lamarr, maybe Margaret Hamilton or Dame Stephanie Shirley... but I think I'm going to choose someone closer to my age: Sophie Wilson ( because I think the conversation would be far ranging, interesting, informative and still possible ๐Ÿ˜

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Thomas Bnt โ˜•

Grace Hopper! Learn more about the idea behind the first creation of the compilator. To take a closer look at his background. History has always fascinated me ๐Ÿ˜

Grace Brewster Hopper was an American computer scientist, mathematician, and United States Navy rear admiral. One of the first programmers of the Harvard Markย I computer, she was a pioneer of computer programming. Hopper was the first to devise the theory of machine-independent programming languages, and the FLOW-MATIC programming language she created using this theory was later extended by others to create COBOL, an early high-level programming language still in use today.

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Abbey Perini

Arlene Gwendolyn Lee

Around the same time that Dorothy Johnson Vaughan, Mary Robinson, and Katherine Johnson were working at NASA, she became one of the first woman programmers in Canada. As an American Black woman marrying a white man in the 1960s, they had to move to Toronto. There, they could legally marry and live together... As long as they bought a house, and to afford that, they both needed jobs. Her son tells her story best.

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Christine Belzie

Wow what an amazing story @abbeyperini! ๐Ÿ˜Š

It was simply impossible for a young black woman to come in the 99th percentile on a test designed to measure aptitude for computer programming.
Of course a black woman doesnโ€™t have the aptitude for computer programmers ๐Ÿ™„ Glad Arlene ignored those racist pricks and continued to be great! ๐Ÿ˜Š

deeheber profile image
Danielle Heberling

I'd have to go with Edie Windsor (

cbid2 profile image
Christine Belzie

Edie sounds amazing @deeheber! :)