What were the African American computers called?
Options for women with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields were few; many, if not most of them worked as teachers. In the 1940s, NACA began hiring Black women as computers, and they became the West Area Computers (also known as the West Computers or Colored Computers).
What did the West Computers do?
The West Computers, as the women were known, provided data that were later essential to the success of the early U.S. space program. Vaughan served as head of the West Computers until 1958, when NACA was incorporated into the newly created NASA, which closed the segregated facilities.
What programming language does Dorothy Vaughan learn?
By then, the space program had begun using electronic computers, and Vaughan became an expert at FORTRAN, a computer programming language used for scientific and algebraic applications.
Was Paul Stafford a real person at NASA?
Paul Stafford, portrayed by Jim Parsons Paul Stafford is a fictional character representing a number of white engineers at NASA for whom Katherine Johnson worked. A statistician and theorist, Stafford has no interest in giving up his white male privileges.
Who was the NASA Human computers?
“Hidden Figures” focuses on three computers: Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan. Here are brief biographies of these women.
When did NASA desegregate?
Integration came to the nation’s space agency in the mid-1960s. On May 13, 1961, in its first issue after Alan Shepard’s historic Mercury mission, the nation’s leading black newspaper, the New York Amsterdam News, ran a front-page column that asked a question on the minds of millions of Americans.
What did computers do at NASA?
In 1958, when the NACA made the transition to NASA, segregated facilities, including the West Computing office, were abolished. The work of human computers at Langley varied. However, most of the work involved reading, analyzing, and plotting data. The human computers did this work by hand.
Why were Dorothy Vaughan’s accomplishments remarkable?
Dorothy Vaughan was an American computer programmer and mathematician who made significant contributions to the early U.S. space program. She was also the first Black American supervisor at NASA, a role she would continue to hold up to and beyond its merger with NASA.
What was Katherine Johnson’s accomplishments?
Katherine Johnson helped send the first men to the Moon. She worked with NASA’s team of engineers to pinpoint the time and location of departure that would put astronauts on track for the moon. The Apollo moon landing program was a success, and arguably one of the most famous events in the history of space travel.
Is Katherine a Russian spy?
Katherine is a Russian spy.
Did NASA really desegregate bathrooms?
“Desegregation of bathroom and dining facilities happened gradually and quietly over the 1950s at Langley lab,” explains Barry. Langley lab was a federal facility but was located in Virginia, which had state-mandated segregation.