THE INSTITUTE Katherine G. Johnson, one of the women featured in the 2016 Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures, died today at age 101. Her mathematical calculations of orbital mechanics at NASA were critical to the success of Friendship 7 and several other U.S. human spaceflights. She was instrumental in getting astronaut John Glenn into space.
IEEE recognized her contributions last year with its President’s Award, “for fundamental computational contributions to the success of American’s first and subsequent manned spaceflights, including Apollo 11.”
For more about her fascinating life and the struggles she overcame, read our article, “Katherine Johnson, the Hidden Figures Mathematician Who Got Astronaut John Glenn Into Space.”
Kathy Pretz is editor in chief for The Institute, which covers all aspects of IEEE, its members, and the technology they're involved in. She has a bachelor's degree in applied communication from Rider University, in Lawrenceville, N.J., and holds a master's degree in corporate and public communication from Monmouth University, in West Long Branch, N.J.