Seminar Event Detail

Special Events

Date:  Monday, January 15, 2018
Location:  1324 East Hall (4:00 PM to 5:00 PM)

Title:  Hidden Figures: Bringing Math, Physics, History, and Race to Hollywood

Abstract:   (The movie will show before the talk at 1:30pm in 1360 East Hall. Seating is limited).

In January 2017, the movie Hidden Figures was released by 20th Century Fox studios. This movie tells the story of three African-American women mathematicians and engineers (Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan) who would play a pivotal role towards the successful mission of John Glenn's spacecraft orbit around the Earth and the NASA missions to the moon.

For this talk, we give a brief review of the space race going on at the time between the United States of America and the former Soviet Union. We will discuss the lives and contributions that NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson and the NASA engineers Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan made to the space race. In particular, their work as concerns John Glenn's orbit around the Earth in 1962 and to the moon missions. Also, we will talk about the experiences of being a mathematical consultant for this film. (This talk was designed and originally to be presented by Professor Rudy Horne, who passed away in December 2017. Professor Washington kindly agreed to present in his stead.)

Reception to follow in the Mathematics Atrium.


Speaker:  Talitha Washington
Institution:  Associate Professor, Howard University & Program Director, National Science Foundation

Event Organizer:     


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