I'm not afraid of Math, how about you? Meet Katherine G. Johnson, a lady who loved Math.

Katherine G. Johnson (1918-2020), was a great mathematician and physicist. She was born August 26, 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. She worked as a mathematician for the National Aeronautics Space Agency (NASA).

Katherine Johnson

Photograph of Katherine Johnson, courtesy of NASA.gov

Katherine calculated or used math to figure out trajectories for the space trips of Alan Shepard, John Glenn, and the Eagle Space Shuttle which landed on the moon. Guess what? She is considered a pioneer in her field. How about that? While working for NASA, Katherine helped send astronauts to the moon by calculating the flight paths of the spacecraft.

Katherine Johnson really loved Math and was good in Math. Not only did she calculate trajectories, she created star maps for astronauts. She based the maps on what the astronauts would see while looking out of their windows at any given time on the spacecraft.

Katherine was a true mathematician, and her favorite subject was Algebra! She retired and has been honored as the first African-American in her field. Mrs. Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, NASA Group Achievement Award, the Congressional Gold Medal and several other awards. She died on February 24, 2020.

Learn more about Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Christine Darden in the book, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race. Author: Margot Lee Shetterly

Mop Top iconMarch 14th is National Pi Day... not the kind we eat (like sweet potato pie or apple pie), however a pie is round or shaped like a circle. National Pi Day is a celebration of mathematics. Pi is a mathematical concept or idea. It represents the relationship between the width of a circle (how wide the circle is or the diameter) and the distance around the circle (circumference). It is a number that never ends, 3.1415926535. The dots after the numbers mean it is infinite; it never stops, but keeps on going without repeating. It is sometimes rounded to the number 3.14.

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