Grace Hopper and the Computer Bug

Grace Hopper and the Computer Bug

Artist – Kathleen Smith

Design Description

This design is based on the theme of ‘Women in Science and Engineering’. Grace Hopper was a computer scientist, she was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, and invented the first compiler for a computer programming language. She popularised the idea of machine-independent programming languages which led to the development of COBOL, one of the first high-level programming languages. She is credited with popularising the term “debugging” for fixing computer glitches after finding a moth in a relay in a computer. The remains of the moth can be found in the log book at the National Museum of American History.

Artist Statement

Kathleen Smith is a metalworker who makes objects and jewellery. She produces work that has a message or social conscience, which interacts with the viewer. Kathleen wants her work to be seen within public spaces often by being worn, situated in the environment or hidden for the viewers to find.


Industrial processes are often used such as powder coating, laser cutting, rapid prototyping and mobile devices to interact with her work.