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Volume 1 | Issue 1

2-8-17
THE HUMAN COMPUTER

Katherine Johnson was a tremendous contribution to the NACA and


NASA. She was on of the first African American females to ever work
with an all white male crew.

Early Life
Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson was born on August 26, 2017. Her
and her parents Joshua and Joylette Coleman lived in Greenbrier
County. She is the youngest of 4 children. Her father was a
lumberman, farmer, and handyman, while her mother was a former
teacher. They both emphasized that education was important to their
children. Katherine showed high skill in math early on. She graduated
at 14 years old. At 18 she started attending West Virginia College.

In college, she took every math course available. Angie Turner


King a professor, chemist, and mathematician and W.W. Schiefflin
Claytor, the third African American to receive a PhD in math, took
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Kathy under their wings. In 1937, Coleman graduated with the highest
honors in degrees math and French at just 18 years old

Work Life
She then started a teaching job at a black public school in
Virginia. She then left her teaching job and joined a math graduate
program. She was the only female out of just 3 students chosen for
this program. Even with this program she was still only able to find
teacher jobs. Then at a family reunion a relative mentioned the
NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) was hiring
mathematicians. She worked with a little bundle of women that took
data from black boxes of planes to get their precise mathematical
tasks. They then moved her to an all-male flight research team. From
1953-1958, she worked as a computer researching to improve gust
alleviation for aircrafts. Soon they had reassigned her to the Guidance
and Control Division of Langleys Flight Research Division, which
was made up of all white male engineers. From 1958-1986, before
her retirement, she worked as an aerospace technologist. She helped
with many space projects. She helped put Alan Shepard in space,
helped with the Mercury Mission, she also helped John Glenn orbit
earth and helped launch Apollo 11 to the moon.