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Origin of the term "Software Engineering"

โ“ #DidYouKnow MargaretHamilton coined the term #softwareengineering?

๐Ÿš€ #MargaretHamilton was director of the Software Development Division of the Instrumentation Laboratory at #MIT, where the on-board flight software for the #Apollo Guidance Computer was developed [1].

๐Ÿค“ In addition to writing the code, the team's tasks included testing to validate that the program met the requirements. Following these efforts, Hamilton later coined the term "software engineering" - the foundation of modern #ArtificialIntelligence [2].

๐Ÿ’ช The effort required for the software design had been severely underestimated. By the time of the first moon landing in 1969, about 1400 person-years had been spent on this task at MIT. The peak of activities was reached one year earlier, in 1968, with a total of 350 person-years [3].

โŒ The software had to be as error-free as possible, and any anomalies had to be understood and recorded to determine any potential impact on the mission. No bugs were discovered during the missions, but each program flew with some known and documented problems [3].

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿš€ Eventually, the developments of Hamilton and her team at MIT prevented the abort of the #Apollo11#lunar landing on this exact day, July 20, 1969 ๐Ÿ—“. A flaw in the design of the rendezvous radar provided the computer with incorrect information. Thanks to the software's measures, the mission could continue safely [4].

๐Ÿž Today, anomaly detection is considered an important aspect of Artificial Intelligence, yet it is still difficult to deploy #machinelearning based algorithms for #spaceexploration [5].

Contributing Editor: Daniel Leidner, Women in AI & Robotics Member and #Advisor

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