Reynolds, Nan Nabors 2008

Nan Nabors Reynolds’ work in early computers ensured her a spot as one of the pioneers of computer science and technology. Reynolds was one of 10 siblings, nine of which attended OCW. She graduated from OCW in 1938, majoring in mathematics. She received her master’s degree from Oklahoma State University in 1940. Reynolds taught courses as part of the Army Specialized Training Program. She enlisted in WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Services) in 1944. Her service in WAVES included an assignment in Corpus Christi, Texas where she assisted with Radio-Radar Project Engineers. Several of Reynolds’ correspondences from her days in WAVES are a part of the Women’s Veterans Historical Collection at the Jackson Library on the campus of the University of Greensboro, North Carolina. She later became an associate engineer in aerodynamics research at Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, Calif. Reynolds was a professor of math at Oklahoma State University, Oregon State, Stanford, Baylor and Harvard. She worked at Boeing Aircraft in Seattle, Wash. for 10 years. During the 1950s, her reputation as one of the world’s elite mathematicians impressed the faculty at UCLA. The university invited her to work on one of the nation’s first computers. She was commissioned to experiment with early computer technology. The computer she helped build took up an entire wall and could perform few tasks. The project ensured her spot as one of the pioneers of computer science. Microsoft’s Bill Gates sent her a birthday card in Oct. 2007 thanking her for her role as a pioneer in computer technology. For 10 years she was a housewife in Germany while her husband taught math and conducted research. Reynolds considers Chickasha her favorite town and OCW the best college she attended.

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