I know I said a long long time ago

that I’d write a post on Kateryna Lohvynivna Yushchenko.

I can’t remember how I stumbled across the her Wikipedia page but imagine my surprise when I read that she is considered to be the

author of the world’s first high-level programming language «Address Programming Language»

As anyone with any familiarity of the orthodox history of computer hardware and software will know it is common knowledge (in the West at least) that the world’s first (general-purpose) high-level language is said to be FORTRAN. Naturally I was intrigued.

To paraphrase Wikipedia it seems that Kateryna Lohvynivna Yushchenko (Ukranian Ющенко Катерина Логвинівна) was born December 8th 1919 and died August 15th 2001. She was a member of USSR Academy of Sciences (1976). Seems her name can also be written Ekaterina Logvinovna Yushchenko as can be seen here on a page of a list of her publications by the scientific and technical library, an archival division of the Odessa national polytechnical university.

She apparently graduated from the Central Asian University (where is this, does anyone know?) in 1942. She worked in Lviv at a department of the Institute of Mathematics (here?) on probability theory (1946–50), was a senior researcher of the Institute of Mathematics (1950–57), and was head of the Institute of Cybernetics (from 1957) which seems to have been in Kiev.

And it is here under the direction of S. Lebedeva in 1948-1951 where her team created the first computer in continental Europe – the MEVM. On this machine through research and development they created «Address Programming Language». Said to be the first fundamental achievement of Kiev school in the theory of programming, predating FORTRAN (1958), COBOL (1959), ALGOL-60 (1960).

There is a nice page about her at the History of development of information technologies in Ukraine museum written by Boris Malinovsky that goes into a little more detail but cites no sources.

Any more details about her, her work, the cybernetic institute, and this mysterious «Address Programming Language» would be greatly welcome. I think it speaks to the tremendous bias in the Anglo-sphere that the histories of computing/cybernetics is so US and UK centric. Though to be fair apparently the USSR kept a lot of the work secret for a while but enough time has elapsed to remedy that situation.

Here is a page listing books about the history of computer science and technology in the former USSR.

And finally before a bid thee good day here is a page about a book which describes the Kiev computer. Good day!