So a woman who influenced me in computing?
The more I thought about it the more obvious it became.
|Curta Calculator, from Wikipedia
She gave my dad his Curta calculator, roughly 1950 or so. He later gave it to me, and I still think it is the most beautiful object I own. Bearing in mind of course I don't own my wife or children.
A long time ago, she made a 4 bit adder out of components, a large piece of board, switches and solder. To illustrate how computers work for her students - she was a maths teacher. I don't know when it was done but the 1960s is a safe bet - I remember it when I was very young. It seemed almost magical to me. Brilliant.
|TI-57 Calculator, from Wikipedia
She bought me - to be honest I don't know how much the split of decision making was with my father - my first programmable calculator, the wondrous TI-57. Not quite my first programming as that had been done on an HP 25 borrowed by my dad from work - or lent by Spencer Noble.
She got my name into print for computing for the first time by commissioning me to calculate a table for her book "Maths for Scientists". So yes, my first ever computing publication in any form was published by Mills & Boon!
|Fairey Swordfish, image from Wikipedia
Maybe not so surprising that the first thing I did when I was promoted to Professor was to make sure my mother could come to the ceremony.