NASA Office of Logic Design

NASA Office of Logic Design

A scientific study of the problems of digital engineering for space flight systems,
with a view to their practical solution.

About Margaret Hamilton

Margaret Hamilton, the Lead Apollo Flight Software Designer, In a Mockup of the Apollo Command Module (MIT Photo)

"The Heart and Soul of Apollo: Doing it Right the First Time"

2004 MAPLD Abstract

2004 MAPLD Presentation

Education: BA from Earlham College in Richmond, Ind. (math major, philosophy minor). Postponed PhD scholarship in abstract math when offered a once in a life time opportunity to work on Apollo, which was just getting off the ground. Computer science and software engineering were not yet courses to be taught (or disciplines to be named). These were pioneering times. Learning was by "being" and "doing" on the job; as more people came on board, the more I became an "expert" and rose up through the ranks. A real world system developed in uncharted territory, one could not have asked for a better research environment to set the stage for what would come next and remain thereafter (a life long career centered around developing more advanced methods and tools for designing systems and developing software).

Publications: 130 papers, proceedings and reports concerned with original ideas. 60 projects and 6 major programs I have been directly involved in (each program lasting approx. 10 to 20 years, made up of a multitude of overlapping, asynchronous, and distributed projects and often overlapping with another program).

Areas of expertise: System design and software development techniques; enterprise and process modeling; preventative systems design and development paradigm; formal systems (and software) modeling languages; System Oriented Objects (SOOs) for systems modeling and development; automated life cycle environments; methods for maximizing software reliability (yet, minimizing cost and time); methods for maximizing reuse; domain analysis; correctness by built-in language properties; open architecture techniques for robust systems; full life cycle automation; quality assurance; seamless integration (including systems to software); asynchronous, distributed processing systems; error detection and recovery techniques; man/machine interface systems; operating systems; end to end testing techniques; and life cycle management techniques.

Greatest Accomplishments: Responsible for the Apollo (and Skylab) on board flight software while Director of the Software Engineering Division at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (CSDL). This involved projects for multiple versions, multiple missions, all phases of development, multiple components and functionality for the LM and the CM software; common software designs and implementation (e.g., that shared between LM and CM, mission to mission, and Apollo to Skylab); and distributed development. During this time created and developed new methods for building flight software and applied these methods to the development of the Apollo and Skylab software and to defining Shuttle system software requirements.

While Director of Software Engineering at CSDL created and developed the mathematical theory based on empirical studies of the Apollo on board flight software which formed the earlier beginnings for the Development Before the Fact (DBTF) systems design and software development paradigm.

Current Activities: Founder and CEO of Hamilton Technologies, Inc. (HTI): developed a business around the next generation Development Before the Fact (DBTF) paradigm for designing systems and developing software (along with its associated formal systems language, 001AXES for defining System Oriented Objects (SOOs), and its automation, 001). Responsible for the 001 Tool Suite product line which includes components for a full system design and software development life cycle; and the 001AXES and DBTF theory behind it.

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Last Revised: February 03, 2010
Digital Engineering Institute
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