Essay Example on What is so special about three women that were Mathematicians








Most of you are probably wondering what is so special about three women that were mathematicians What most of you don t know is that these three women were African Americans who worked for NASA There names were Katherine Johnson Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan These three women worked very hard to prove to others that they weren't just African American women that they were smart independent women who never gave up The three of them were a huge part in launching America's first satellites into space and the launch of John Glenn into space Now let's talk about each individual women Dorothy Vaughan Dorothy Vaughan was born in Kansas City Missouri on September 10 1910 Later in life Dorothy and her family moved to Morgantown West Virginia When Dorothy graduated she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Wilberforce University She got married in 1932 to Howard Vaughan For the next eleven years she had to balance her time as a housewife and a mathematics teacher at Robert Russa Moton High School in Farmville Virginia When Dorothy and her family moved to Newport News Virginia where she got a job at NACA National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics the predecessor agency to NASA She was part of one of the first groups of African Americans to be hired as a mathematician or scientist

There was a executive order that prohibited them to be mistreated based on race or religion Even with the executive order the African American women were still forced to work separately from the white female employees She was responsible for calculating mathematical computations for engineers conducting aeronautical experiments in wind tunnels on the variables affecting drag and lift of aircraft In 1958 when NACA was transitioning into NASA they abolished the segregated working environment Dorothy joined the new Analysis and Computation Division and became an expert FORTRAN programmer In her last couple years she worked closely to NASA s mathematicians Katherine G Johnson and Mary Jackson on the launch of John Glenn into orbit Dorothy Vaughan retired in 1971 and died on November 10 2008 Mary Jackson Mary Jackson was born in Hampton Virginia on April 9 1921 Graduating with the highest honors and got a dual degree in mathematics and physical science at the

Hampton Institute Now Hampton University in 1942 She was a teacher for a year in Maryland then moved back to her hometown Hampton She then married Levi Jackson In 1951 Mary also started to work for NACA as a member of the West Area Computing unit Her supervisor was Dorothy Vaughan The women provided data that would later be used for the U S space program In 1953 Mary left the West Computing to work for engineer Kazimierz Czarnecki He was conducting experiments on high speed wind tunnels Mary then started taking classes to become an engineer She finished all of her courses and in 1958 Mary Jackson became the first African American women engineer at NASA For about 20 years she worked as an engineer with much of her work centering in airflow around aircrafts Mary then took a demotion and became manager of the women's program at NASA where she wanted to improve opportunities for all women Mary Jackson then retired in 1985 and died on February 11 2005 Katherine G Johnson Katherine G Johnson was born in White Sulphur Springs West Virginia on August 26 1918 When she was only ten years old she graduated 8th grade Katherine and her family moved to Institute West Virginia so that she could be enrolled in West Virginia State College Now West Virginia State University One of the professors Dr William W Schieffelin Claytor who was the third African American to earn a Phd in mathematics

He was determined to make sure she became a research mathematician At age 18 she graduated college with a degree in mathematics and French In 1930 Katherine Johnson taught math and french in Virginia and West Virginia and in 1939 she married James Francis Goble She then later applied to work at NACA and got accepted to work at Langley Research Center in Hampton Virginia Katherine got transferred to Langley s flight division because of how hard she worked She took on more responsibilities and achieved a tone of success Hr husband later died in 1959 of a brain tumor When NACA was reformulated into NASA Katherine was one of the people in charge of how to get humans back and forth from space A year later she remarried to Navy and Army officer James A Johnson Johnson continued to contribute herself to NASA and helping develop the Space Shuttle Program and Earth Resources Satellite Katherine Johnson retired in 1986 and is still living today at age 99 Quote Everything is physics and math As I learned about these women I became more attached to find out about them Their lives were not easy and many people looked down on them Each day when they went to work they were treated poorly but they still never gave up Every day they got segregated from white women had use different bathrooms eat different places and looked down upon people because of their skin color If it were not for these three wonderful women we might not have the information that we need today to launch satellites

There are many rights that we Americans have and some talk about how we have the freedom of religion freedom of speech and pursuit of happiness Why can't all people have these rights Just because someone has a different skin color than you makes it okay to segregate them from others I don't think that sounds right Mary Jackson Dorothy Vaughan and Katherine Johnson didn t let any of those people stop them These women proved to others they were more than just women they were they were women who helped shape America

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