© copyright 2003-2020 Study.com. Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson (1918– ) is an African-American mathematician who made valuable contributions to critical aeronautics and space programs of the NACA and NASA. Creola Katherine Johnson (née Coleman; August 26, 1918 – February 24, 2020) was an American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights. Katherine studied how to use geometry for space travel. First off, are you a parent, a teacher or a student? How many kids did Katherine Johnson have? Katherine was the first woman to co-write a research report in the Flight Research Division where she worked, and she wrote and co-wrote 26 research reports. Why does NASA team with the Jet Propulsion... Is the Jet Propulsion Laboratory a service or... Was the Explorer 1 the first spacecraft the U.S.... Did Explorer 1 lead to the creation of Apollo... Where is Cape Canaveral Air Force Station? Spring into Summer and get ahead for September now. Pioneering black female engineers and mathematicians like Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson left an indelible mark on NASA, the struggle for African-American civil rights, and the United States itself. Creola Katherine Johnson (née Coleman; August 26, 1918 – February 24, 2020) was an American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights. Physics. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal Start your trial and we’ll hold this deal. Katherine Johnson made the most of limited educational opportunities for African Americans, graduating from college at age 18. Biography Katherine Johnson was given the name Katherine Coleman on her birth. Katherine Johnson: Katherine Johnson was one of the women featured in the 2016 book and film called 'Hidden Figures. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015. “I will always be grateful for her,” she says. After the Allied victory in the war, Hampton Roads, where Langley Aeronautical Memorial Laboratory was located and where Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson worked, became a focal point of the US defense industry during the Cold War with the Soviet Union. She was brilliant with numbers, and was moved up several years at school! Pioneering African-American Nasa mathematician Katherine Johnson has died at the age of 101. And so would numerous other astronauts to come. Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson are three members of the West Computer Room of Nasa’s Langley Research Centre. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. Katherine Johnson, American mathematician who calculated and analyzed the flight paths of many spacecraft during her more than three decades with the U.S. space program. How many siblings does Katherine Johnson have? The recognition of Katherine's contributions to aeronautics and to America's ventures into space is well … Is the Kennedy Space Center also known as the Cape... What is Cape Canaveral Air Force Station? Johnson achieved extraordinary things with her incredible mathematical knowledge. On Feb 24, 2020, Katherine Johnson passed away at the age of 101, leaving behind a massive legacy and inspiration for generations to come. During her 35-year career at NASA and its predecessor, she earned a reputation for mastering complex manual calculations and helped pioneer the use … ... for Katherine and the rest of the world. Both schools get a £50 Amazon voucher if their school joins DoodleMaths. She was brilliant with numbers, and was moved up several years at school! The Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility was dedicated Sept. 22 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Where did the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo... What part of the Apollo spacecraft actually... How were the Apollo spacecrafts numbered after... Why was Alan Shepard the first American in... What did Alan Shepard do on the moon in 1971? All rights reserved. From a young age, Johnson enjoyed mathematics and could easily solve mathematical equations. In 1952, she found out that she could work for NASA at the all-black … - Definition & Examples, Semicircle: Definition, Perimeter & Area Formulas, What is Simple Present Tense? Before these, few people knew of her role in the success of the U.S. space program. Services, Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. Johnson, 98, is the pioneering NASA research mathematician and … A mentor, mother, teacher, wife, and NASA employee, Katherine Johnson changed the world with her calculations by working hard in her childhood years to pursue her passion for math and being fearless by being one of the only African Americans working at NASA during the time of segregation. The 2016 movie Hidden Figures finally brought her story to light. The Extraordinary Life of Katherine Johnson. In 1962, the USA decided to send John Glenn around the world in a spaceship. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree, Get access to this video and our entire Q&A library. Katherine Johnson was an American mathematician who famously calculated the flight-paths of spacecraft while working for NASA. How did segregation affect Katherine Johnson in... How many degrees does Katherine Johnson have? Katherine Johnson, played by Taraji P Henson, continued working as a Nasa analyst until the early 1980s. In doing so, they midwifed the careers of a generation of black engineers and scientists, including Christine Mann (later Christine Darden), who knew Katherine Johnson through a friendship with the latter’s daughter. But not only that, because programming goes beyond the simple line of code. Born in the deep southern state of West Virginia, she could be considered a genius, as she graduated from school at the age of fourteen and from college at the age of eighteen. In 1939, Katherine and two male students became the first black students to attend graduate school (school for after you finish your degree and want to keep learning). But at the time she didn’t know that it was going to change her life forever. © 2020 EZ Education - All rights reserved. She and women like her worked unseen for decades to ensure America's success in the space race. Her work helped send astronauts to the Moon. Johnson’s other daughter, Katherine Goble Moore, says her mother has always been her role model. Johnson is her married name (from her second husband) but, for the sake of simplicity, we will use the name Katherine up to the point when she married for the second time. She made important contributions to the United States space program during her career at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Katherine Johnson, a mathematician for NASA and its predecessor agency, passed away on 24 February at age 101. Katherine Johnson changed the world by showing everyone that women and African-Americans were just as capable as others in being successful in... See full answer below. Create your account. Defying the odds that stacked against her. She figured out the paths for the spacecraft to orbit (go around) Earth and to land on the Moon. Knowing how to code can give them the base to create something they imagine. During her 35-year career at NASA and its predecessor, she earned a reputation for mastering complex manual calculations and helped pioneer … Katherine was born in 1918 in the USA. By 1953 the growing demands of early space research meant there were openings for African-American computers at Langley Research Center’s Guidance and Navigation Department – and Katherine Johnson found the perfect place to put her extraordinary mathematical skills to work. - Definition & Examples, What is a Polygon? He would orbit Earth three times. She got the job and worked there for many years, doing incredibly difficult maths to help send people to space. Mathematicians who changed the world: Katherine Johnson. She was unable to put her name on reports she had researched and written and was limited in where she could eat or use the restroom due to segregation. Katherine Johnson, NASA mathematician and long time Virginian, was one of those minds. Enter your details below and a member of our team will then contact you to help you get started. Discover more mathematicians who changed the world. I am glad that she fought against discrimination and truly made an impact on the world in many different ways. Overcoming the constraints of segregation and gender bias, she progressed from mathematical tasks, such as computing experimental flight and ground-test data using a mechanical Frieden calculator for the NACA, to the application of spacecraft trajectories and spacecraft control calculations for NASA. NASA sent astronauts into orbit around Earth. The 1957 launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik changed history—and Johnson’s life. In 1952, she found out that she could work for NASA at the all-black West Area Computing section. US scientist Katherine Johnson is 99 years old (born Katherine Coleman, August 26, 1918). She went on to work in aeronautics research, on the Apollo 11 and Apollo 13 missions. Katherine Johnson is such an intelligent woman and it is crazy to think about how successful she still was do to her persistence and dedication. John told his engineers that he wanted Katherine to check the numbers by hand, and said, “if she says they’re good, then I’m ready to go”. Katherine Johnson changed the world by showing everyone that women and African-Americans were just as capable as others in being successful in... Our experts can answer your tough homework and study questions. Her work helped send astronauts to the Moon. Her mother was a teacher and her father was a farmer and janitor. At a time when racial segregation was prevalent throughout the southern United States, Johnson and fellow African American mathematicians Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — who was later promoted to engineer — broke through racial barriers to achieve success in their careers at NASA and helped pave the way for the diversity that currently extends across all levels of agency’s workforce … In 1957, she provided some of the math for the 1958 document Notes on Space Technology, a compendium of a series of 1958 lectures given by engineers in the Flight Research Division and the Pilotless Aircraft Research Division (PARD). Methods of Measuring Intelligence: Interpreting IQ Scores & Score Range, What is an Abstract Noun? When Katherine Johnson first began working at Langley Research Center, she was in a segregated group of female, African-American mathematicians. To get the most out of our site, which describes you best? Katherine was born in 1918 in the USA. By only receiving these tools and practicing how to use them, they could change the world, just like Katherine Johnson did. NASA had some powerful computers which would control where the spaceship would go, but the astronauts didn’t trust the electronic calculating machines, as they would sometimes stop working or have some problems. Well-paid federal jobs like the ones awaiting Katherine and Jimmy helped build the emerging black middle class. Katherine Johnson is an American mathematician . In 2015, President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Become a Study.com member to unlock this answer! Published Monday, February 13, 2017 A brilliant mathematician and physicist, Katherine Johnson was key to getting man on the Moon and became a high … When she initially … She didn’t let her race or gender hold her back from opportunities. Some pretty exceptional minds have made profound impacts on the world through science. The 1957 launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik changed history—and Katherine Johnson’s life. - Definition, Process, Steps & Factors, Human Anatomy & Physiology: Help and Review, Middle School Life Science: Help and Review, UExcel Anatomy & Physiology: Study Guide & Test Prep, CSET Science Subtest II Life Sciences (217): Practice & Study Guide, AP Environmental Science: Help and Review, Praxis Chemistry (5245): Practice & Study Guide, STAAR Science - Grade 8: Test Prep & Practice, NES General Science (311): Practice & Study Guide, UExcel Science of Nutrition: Study Guide & Test Prep, Middle School Earth Science: Help and Review, NYSTCE Biology (006): Practice and Study Guide, Biological and Biomedical In 1939, Katherine and two male students became the first black students to attend graduate school (school for after you finish your degree and want to keep learning). His flight was a success! - Definition, Shapes & Angles, Figure of Speech: Definition, Types & Examples, Gravitational Force: Definition, Equation & Examples, What is Seed Germination? Johnson was born in 1918, in West Virginia, USA. Katherine Johnson could count, and John Glenn counted on her. NASA used Katherine's math, and it worked! Later, her math helped send astronauts to the Moon and back. How did Katherine Johnson change the world? Katherine's father was Joshua Mckinley Coleman, born in White Sulphur Springs on 18 December 1881 to Horace Coleman and Margaret Johnson. She began working in aeronautics as a … She, along with women like Katherine Johnson, created an informal network of older black women who helped new minority employees make the transition to the agency. First off, are you a parent or a teacher? In 1957, Katherine provided some of the math for the 1958 document Notes on Space Technology, a compendium of a series of 1958 lectures given by engineers in the Flight Research Division and the Pilotless Aircraft Research Division (PARD). Mathematician and computer scientist Katherine Johnson was born on August 26, 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia to Joylette and Joshua Coleman. *There are 2 UK authors named Catherine Johnson, born 1957 and 1962. Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson is a mathematician, physicist, and a scientist for NASA.