This week, the world lost a mathematical pathbreaker. Katherine Johnson was one of NASA’s “Hidden Figures” – a brilliant mathematician who calculated the trajectory for the Apollo 11 flight. It was her precise calculations that got Neil Armstrong to the moon and back.
Ms. Johnson passed away on February 25 at age 101, and her extraordinary legacy as a female, African-American scientist will long outlive her.
Recently high school junior Neha Sunkara ‘21 spent weeks studying Katherine Johnson for a research paper. Neha is a student in Montrose School in Medfield, MA.
“She transformed the space race for America, but she wasn’t as well known until the movie Hidden Figures came out,” said Neha. “I want to be an astrophysicist, and sometimes I feel alone in my passion. Knowing someone else like Katherine Johnson is in the math world made such a big impact on me.”