[SIGCIS-Members] A particular woman in computing

McMillan, William W william.mcmillan at cuaa.edu
Mon Oct 6 07:12:38 PDT 2014

The recent discussion of women in computing prompts me to ask if anyone who's done work in this area has run into mention of a former colleague, Marge Ratner.

I knew Marge in the late 1970s at Case Tech when I was a grad student at CWRU, employed at the computing center.  She was on the technical staff and was probably in her late 50s then.  She worked among the early crew at Case in the 1950s: Ray Nelson, George Haynam, Fred Way, a very young Don Knuth, and others.

Haynam (later my department head at Eastern Michigan U.) knew Marge well.

Besides whatever disadvantages Marge had due to her gender, she also dealt with the effects of cerebral palsy (or so I believe), making her speech less than crystal-clear and her gait less than nimble.

Marge was a cheerful, humble, hard-working, snuff-taking geek of the old school.  I haven't been able to find anything about her through Internet searches.

Thanks for any info you have!


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