Margaret Hamilton, lead Apollo flight software engineer, in the Apollo Command Module at Nasa
Margaret Hamilton wasn't supposed to invent the modern concept of software and land men on the moon. It was 1960, not a time when women were encouraged to seek out high-powered technical work. When the Apollo space program came along, Hamilton Hamilton, a 24-year-old with an undergrad degree in mathematics stayed in the lab to lead an epic feat of engineering that would help change the future of what was humanly—and digitally—possible.
Margaret Heafield Hamilton (born Heafield on August 17, 1936 is an American computer scientist, systems engineer, and business owner. She was Director of the Software Engineering Division of the 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 joined the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory at MIT, which at the time was working on the Apollo space mission. She eventually led a team credited with developing the software for Apollo and Skylab. Hamilton's team was responsible for developing in-flight software, which included algorithms designed by various senior scientists for the Apollo command module, lunar lander, and the subsequent Skylab. Another part of her team designed and developed the systems software which included the error detection and recovery software such as restarts and the Display Interface Routines (AKA the Priority Displays) which Hamilton designed and developed. She worked to gain hands-on experience during a time when computer science courses were uncommon and software engineering courses did not exist.
Her areas of expertise include systems design and software development, enterprise and process modelling, development paradigm, formal systems modeling languages, system-oriented objects for systems modelling and development, automated life-cycle environments, methods for maximizing software reliability and reuse, domain analysis, correctness by built-in language properties, open-architecture techniques for robust systems, full life-cycle automation, quality assurance, seamless integration, error detection and recovery techniques, man-machine interface systems, operating systems, end-to-end testing techniques, and life-cycle management techniques
Hamilton has published over 130 papers, proceedings, and reports about the 60 projects and six major programs in which she has been involved.
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Wired Magazine: https://www.wired.com/2015/10/margaret-hamilton-nasa-apollo/