With the release and popularity of the movie “Hidden Figures” and this being Black History month, I thought that copying a post written by guest blogger Yahteebutterfly would be appropriate.
By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly
Katherine Johnson, the African American mathematician who calculated the trajectory of NASA’s first manned spacecraft was born on August 26, 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
Her father, a farmer and logger who only had a sixth grade education, was a whiz at math. In an interview with Cathy Lewis of WHROTV, Dr. Johnson recalled that her father could listen to a difficult math word-problem and immediately have the answer and that he could determine the number of board feet he could get from a tree just by looking at it. When it came time for high school and college for his four children he began working at a hotel and had extra jobs to support the studies of his four children.
Watching her three siblings enter elementary school before she did, Katherine could hardly wait to attend school. She loved learning and had a special fascination for numbers. She loved counting everything around her, even the number of steps she walked on her way to church. When she finally did attend school, she was such an outstanding student that she was skipped to second grade, and by the time she was 10, she entered high school where mathematician Angie King recognized her mathematical talent and mentored her during those four years. Read the rest of this entry