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Female Nerds Who Altered The Course Of History [Infographic]

Female Nerds Who Altered The Course Of History [Infographic]

4 Years Ago By Richard Darell

It’s easy to think that the nerds who have altered technology throughout history were all male, especially after watching the movie Revenge of The Nerds back in 1984. There are quite a few “nerds” who have had a profound impact on our planet’s technology needs. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are just a couple. I have no idea why they are usually portrayed as males. There have been countless female nerds throughout history who have made life-altering contributions to our history. In today’s world, I would say there are about as many female nerds as there are male. Since geeks and nerds have become fashionably cool, it’s hard to say really. However, there is no doubt that female nerds are as important to innovation as male nerds are.

I remember reading about a 1930s actress named Hedy Lamarr who starred in a bunch of movies. She was considered the sex symbol of her era, but she was also extremely mathematically talented. She went on to co-invent an early technique for spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping (a technique that was later used to guide torpedoes with radio waves that were “encrypted”). It’s something that for many years she was not recognized for.

There are plenty more female nerds who have changed the course of history with their intelligence. An infographic presented by New Relic (design by presents 6 more female nerds who we should all know about. Hedy Lamarr is for whatever reason not included on this list. Another person we should all know is Radia Perlman. She is known as the mother of the Internet. She invented Internet routing and bridging protocols, which are things widely used in today’s Internet infrastructure.

As you see, there are plenty of female nerds who have made history through their innovations. I think it’s important to lay to rest the perception that most nerds are male. It is pretty much equally divided these days, and they are located all over the world. Just because a person doesn’t look like the stereotype geek or nerd from the nerd movies of the ’80s, it doesn’t mean they are not a nerd or a geek. The fashion statements of today make it virtually impossible to tell a geek or a nerd from a rocker or a skateboarder. It’s just how the world works. We have a lot to thank female nerds for, especially these ladies who have made our lives so much easier with their innovations. A huge thank you to all you female nerds out there!

New Relic’s Female Nerds Infographic

(Click To Enlarge)


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chris godfrey

January 16th, 2013

Thanks for this info. Most interesting topic. However it’s a pity it’s not more clear or larger….but I DID manage to pick up the names so will google them.

Terri Nakamura

January 16th, 2013

Keep the inspirations coming, Richard, Diana & crew!


January 18th, 2013

I was sent to Sarajevo to run a network after the Bosnian war, and had the pleasure of thanking Radia Perlman from the street it was ordered in long after the modern book company folded. From the day I arrived Router and Bridges (oops tempus fugit) was my Bible. Thanks Radia you are a Modern Lady Lovelace, a well deserved accolade.



January 31st, 2013

What about Hedy Lamarr invented radio frequency hopping for radio controlled torpedoes or as it’s know today… wifi?


February 9th, 2013

What about the lady who is often considered the world’s first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace?

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