NASA Technologist Katherine Johnson, the Hidden Figures Mathematician, Dies at 101

The IEEE President’s Award recipient helped the agency plot its course to space

1 min read
Photo of Katherine Johnson
Photo: NASA

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.”

The Conversation (0)

Get unlimited IEEE Spectrum access

Become an IEEE member and get exclusive access to more stories and resources, including our vast article archive and full PDF downloads
Get access to unlimited IEEE Spectrum content
Network with other technology professionals
Establish a professional profile
Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
Discover IEEE events and activities
Join and participate in discussions

The Transistor of 2047: Expert Predictions

What will the device be like on its 100th anniversary?

4 min read
Six men and a woman smiling.

The luminaries who dared predict the future of the transistor for IEEE Spectrum include: [clockwise from left] Gabriel Loh, Sri Samavedam, Sayeef Salahuddin, Richard Schultz, Suman Datta, Tsu-Jae King Liu, and H.-S. Philip Wong.

Gluekit
LightGreen

The 100th anniversary of the invention of the transistor will happen in 2047. What will transistors be like then? Will they even be the critical computing element they are today? IEEE Spectrum asked experts from around the world for their predictions.

Keep Reading ↓Show less