Radia Perlman, also know as the mother of the internet is a network engineer who developed a computer protocol known as Spanning Tree Protocol (STP). STP made it possible to build extensive networks over Ethernet connections. Because of this network, we can surf the internet and its seemingly infinite sources of information from the comfort of our home. She has had a profound impact on how networks self-organize and move data. More impressively, Perlman is currently working at Intel and recently developed the Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL), which is a new standard for data center connectivity that could very well replace STP.
If you’re reading this on a computer, you owe a debt to Susan Kare. Kare is the pioneering designer behind the original Mac icons and the first digital typefaces like Chicago. She led the Apple team into the redesigning process of Mac computers in the 1980s and proved that computers could have great fonts. Kare continued creating graphics we all recognize today like the card deck for Microsoft’s Solitaire game, Paypal, Facebook, and Digg among others.
Marissa Mayer is Google’s first female engineer who started with the tech giant back when it was a startup in 1999. Not only was Marissa Mayer, Google’s first female engineer, her work on Google Maps, Google Books, Google Images, and Gmail helped catapult the company to become the No.1 search company. Mayer currently still works with Google as vice president of location and local services, and leads project management.
Hedy Lamarr was known for her talents on screen, often referred to by many critics and fans alike as the most beautiful woman to ever appear in films. However, it was during World War II that she proved to be more than just a pretty face. She was responsible for creating what is known as frequency hopping, a process which sends radio signals from different frequency channels. Frequency hopping was originally created as a communication system to fight against the Nazis back in WWII. Her invention, along with co-inventor, George Antheil, became a key component to the development in our modern wireless technology. In other words, we are able to use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth because of Lemarr’s idea that oringinated over 70 years ago.