Jean E. Sammet

Computer Scientist

1928 –


Who is Jean E. Sammet?

Jean E. Sammet is an American computer scientist who developed the FORMAC programming language in 1962.

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

Sammet was employed by Sperry Gyroscope from 1955 to 1958 where she supervised the first scientific programming group. From 1958 to 1961, she worked for Sylvania as a staff consultant for programming research and a member of the original COBOL group. She joined IBM in 1961 where she developed FORMAC, the first widely used computer language for symbolic manipulation of mathematical formulas. At IBM she researched the use of restricted English as a programming language and the use of natural language for mathematical programs. She was Programming Technology Planning Manager for the Federal Systems Division from 1968 to 1974, and was appointed Software Technology Manager in 1979.

Sammet founded the ACM Special Interest Committee on Symbolic and Algebraic Manipulation in 1965 and was Chair of the Special Interest Group on Programming Languages. She was the first female president of the ACM, from 1974 to 1976.

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United States of America
Also known as
  • Jean Sammet
  • United States of America
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • IBM

on July 23, 2013


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