Jean E. Sammet, American computer scientist, Died at 89


Jean E. Sammet was born on March 23, 1928, and died on May 20, 2017.

She was an American computer scientist who developed the FORMAC programming language in 1962.

Sammet received her B.A. in Mathematics from Mount Holyoke College in 1948 and her M.A. in Mathematics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1949.

Sammet received an honorary D.Sc. from Mount Holyoke College in 1978.

She was employed by Sperry Gyroscope from 1955 to 1958 where she supervised the first scientific programming group.

From 1958 to 1961, Sammet worked for Sylvania as a staff consultant for programming research and a member of the original COBOL group.

Sammet joined IBM in 1961 where she developed FORMAC, the first widely used computer language for symbolic manipulation of mathematical formulas.

While IBM she researched the use of restricted English as a programming language and the use of natural language for mathematical programs.

Sammet was Programming Technology Planning Manager for the Federal Systems Division from 1968 to 1974, and was appointed Software Technology Manager in 1979.

She founded the ACM Special Interest Committee on Symbolic and Algebraic Manipulation (SICSAM) in 1965 and was Chair of the Special Interest Group on Programming Languages (SIGPLAN).

Sammet was the first female president of the ACM, from 1974 to 1976.

Jean E. Sammet passed away at 89 years old.