Katherine Johnson is a name that everyone has heard, even if you don’t know all of her story. Maybe, you heard it when she received the 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. Maybe it was when the book or the movie Hidden Figures came out. Maybe it was recently, when NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia opened the Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility, or CRF on September 22nd.
Or, maybe you have known her story since you were young.
Katherine Johnson, along with Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan, her fellow human computers (the title given to those who analyzed and calculated data manually, before the creation of the actual machine), broke barriers, both for gender and race, at a time when women “had their place”, especially women of colour. I have only seen the movie, but the racism and sexism that she endured, and overcame, is a true testament to her strength of spirit.
NASA provides a number of articles about Katherine, and her contribution to NASA’s success. You can find articles about her here.
The video that caught my attention the most, is below. A glimpse into the humble and brilliant mind of Katherine Johnson. Enjoy.
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Pictures © Written In Geek blog, used with subject’s permission or under public domain (2017).- feature image, video and links, courtesy of NASA. Hidden Figures link courtesy of imdb.com