One of NASA’s greatest mathematicians, Katherine Johnson, has died

Katherine Johnson sits at her desk with a globe, or "Celestial Training Device."

Enlarge / Katherine Johnson
sits at her desk with a globe, or “Celestial Training Device.”
(credit: NASA)

Katherine Johnson, a trailblazing mathematician best known for
her contributions to NASA’s human spaceflight program, and who
gained fame later in life due to the movie Hidden Figures, died
Monday. She was 101 years old.

“At NASA we will never forget her courage and leadership and the
milestones we could not have reached without her,” said NASA
administrator Jim Bridenstine. “We will continue building on her
legacy and work tirelessly to increase opportunities for everyone
who has something to contribute toward the ongoing work of raising
the bar of human potential.”

Born in rural West Virginia on August 26, 1918, Johnson showed
an aptitude for mathematics early in life. “I counted
everything,”
she said
late in life of her formative years. “I counted the
steps to the road, the steps up to church, the number of dishes and
silverware I washed… anything that could be counted, I did.”

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
One of NASA’s greatest mathematicians, Katherine Johnson, has died