Friday, February 24, 2017

"Hidden Figure" Catherine Johnson


Because of the new film, Hidden Figures, about three of the "computers with skirts" who worked for the U.S. space program in its earliest years, you can now find many articles online about mathematician Katherine Goble Johnson. For our classes, we chose an article written back in 2008, before all the current attention to those pioneers. You can find the rest of the article here.

And here is the brief chronology of space exploration that Judy prepared as background for our discussion of this article:

“Firsts in Space”― a timeline for this article

Oct 4, 1957 - Sputnik (USSR) launched
Jan 1, 1958 – Explorer 1 – the first US satellite - launched
Jan 1, 1959 – Luna 1 (USSR) launched, then orbits the sun
Sept. 12, 1959 – Luna 2 (USSR) launched, then impacts the moon
April 12, 1961 – Yuri Gagarin (USSR) orbits earth
May 5, 1961 – Alan Shepard (US) sent into (sub-orbital) space
Feb. 20, 1962 – John Glenn (US) orbits earth

Group 401 will discuss this article next week; group 501 (evening) the following week. In the meantime, here is the video we showed as a preview in our 401 class last Wednesday.

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