The UPC will confer an honorary doctorate on Margaret Hamilton, an outrider in the use of the term 'software engineering', 50 years ago, during the first Apollo missions of NASA.
The proposal, approved by the Governing Council, has been promoted by the FIB and framed in the celebration of the 40th anniversary.
Margaret Hamilton, mathematician, computer scientist, systems engineer, and business owner. She was Director of the Software Engineering Division of the Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT) Instrumentation Laboratory, which developed on-board flight software for the Apollo space program. In 1986, she became the founder and CEO of Hamilton Technologies, Inc., in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company was developed around the Universal Systems Language based on her paradigm of Development Before the Fact (DBTF) for systems and software design.
Hamilton has published over 130 papers, proceedings, and reports about the 60 projects and six major programs in which she has been involved.
On November 22, 2016, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Barack Obama for her work leading the development of on-board flight software for NASA’s Apollo Moon missions.
With this honorary doctorate, we want to acknowledge an outrider in the use of the term “software engineering” 50 years ago during the first Apollo missions. Hamilton gave prestige to the development of software, putting it in the same level of importance as software design or hardware engineering. The concepts, models and techniques that she developed were the basis of highly reliable software design. The contributions of Hamilton have not only been key in the field of computing but also in the world of aeronautics.
It also wants to be a tribute to a woman who worked in a very masculine environment and promoted the presence of women in the field of computer science. The proposal has been promoted by the FIB and is supported by Escola d'Enginyeria de Telecomunicació i Aeroespacial de Castelldefels (EETAC), Escola Superior d'Enginyeria Industrial, Aeroespacial i Audiovisual de Terrassa (ESEIAAT), Departament d'Enginyeria de Serveis i Sistemes d'Informació de la UPC and Departament d'Informàtica del Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich).
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