Erna Hoover Biography

Born: 28 November 1928
Best Known as: inventor of the computerized telephone switching

Erna Hoover invented the first computerized telephone switching system, which improved flexibility and prioritized processes linked to the input and output of the switch over processes that were less important such as record keeping and billing. Hoover was awarded one of the first patents issued for software. She studied medieval philosophy and history at Wellesley College and philosophy and foundations of mathematics at Yale University. Hoover was a professor at Swarthmore College, worked for Bell Labs, and developed a Safeguard Anti-Ballistic Missile System.