Katherine Johnson "Math. it's just there..you're either right or you're wrong. that's what i like about it."

Early Life

When Katherine was around four or five years old, she had gained a love for counting. When she was the youngest in her school, Katherine often found herself helping other students with their work. Johnson then managed to be two grade levels ahead of her brother.

Katherine's Education

Katherine was in high school by the age of 10, then was in college by age 15. Her dream was to become a mathematics teacher. While she was attending the West Virginia University she got noticed by Dr. William W. Schieffelin Clayton. He encouraged her to take more advanced math courses, Dr. William had told her that she would make a good research mathematician. During the course of becoming a research mathematician he had Katherine take a lot of courses, but before the courses he had prepared her. While we are still talking about early college years, she had two years before having to declare a major. Alright moving onto the end of her college career, when Katherine graduated she was only 18 years old. She graduated with a bachelor of science degrees in mathematics and french.

Her Career

Before Katherine started working at Langley Research Center, (which was soon to become part of NASA.) she had worked as a high school math teacher for seven years. Soon after she had stopped working at the high school, someone had helped her apply for a job at Langley Research Center. The job that Katherine had applied for was looking for, "Human Computers." The job was made up of a pool of women, they pretty much did all the math. When Langley Research Center had joined NASA, Johnson had calculated the flight path for the first mission in space, she had also computed the path for the Apollo Mission. Katherine Johnson retired in 1986, her computations influenced every major space program.

I felt most proud of the success of the Apollo Mission. They were going to the moon and I computed the path to get there. -Katherine Johnson


Katherine Johnson: NASA Mathematician. Perf. Katherine Johnson. MAKERS. MAKERS, n.d. Web. Jan. 2017. <http://www.makers.com/katherine-g-johnson.>

Smith, Yvette. "Katherine Johnson: The Girl Who Loved to Count." NASA. NASA, 20 Nov. 2015. Web. 01 Mar. 2017. <https://www.nasa.gov/feature/katherine-johnson-the-girl-who-loved-to-count>..

Wild, Flint. "Katherine Johnson: A Lifetime of STEM." NASA. NASA, 16 Nov. 2015. Web. Jan.-Feb. 2017. <https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/a-lifetime-of-stem.html>.

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