As you know, I like to write about women who have affected our history because they are often overlooked in history classes and books. Today, I want to write about Katherine Johnson who was a mathematician and space scientist.
In the 1960’s, Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson worked for NASA. In fact, Katherine started working there in 1952. That was already a great achievement at the time. She was one of 3 women who worked as “computers” at NASA during America’s race to space against the Soviet Union. She earned a reputation for mastering complex manual calculations and helped the space agency pioneer the use of computers to perform the tasks. Male NASA scientists relied on her to send them into space but would not allow her to put her own name on reports.
If you haven’t seen the movie “Hidden Figure”, in which Katherine is represented, I highly recommend it. It’s an amazing bit of history. Learning history is important.
NASA dedicated its new Computational Research Facility in honor of mathematician and space scientist Katherine Johnson.