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The Power of Numbers: Exploring the Role of Math in Engineering and Uncovering Hidden Figures

Space shuttle launching into space

Mathematics is the language of the universe, and in the world of engineering, it's essential for designing, analyzing, and implementing ideas. Engineers use various branches of mathematics, such as calculus, to analyze rates of change and motion, and linear algebra for designing electrical circuits.

Mathematics is the language of the universe and the backbone of engineering. From designing structures to analyzing systems, mathematics offers engineers the tools to conceptualize and implement their ideas.

Let's not forget notable women like Katherine Johnson, an African American mathematician whose calculations were critical to the success of NASA's Apollo missions.

This week, we are recognizing the significant contributions of the brilliant women from the book and film "Hidden Figures." These African American mathematicians, often referred to as "human computers," played essential roles in some of NASA's most monumental missions.

Katherine Johnson, one of the main figures, is renowned for her calculations that ensured the successful orbit of the Friendship 7 spacecraft around Earth. Her mathematical prowess was critical in plotting the trajectory for the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the moon. Johnson's work broke racial and gender barriers, setting a strong foundation for women in STEM.

Dorothy Vaughan, another "Hidden Figure," was both a mathematician and an expert programmer. She became the first African American woman to supervise a staff at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which later became NASA.

Mary Jackson, the third woman highlighted in "Hidden Figures," overcame significant obstacles to become NASA's first black female engineer. She made considerable contributions to the understanding of airflow around aircraft.

By mastering math fundamentals, aspiring engineers can follow in the footsteps of these remarkable women and significantly contribute to our technological world. 

Nyla Nova STEMversity® is committed to promoting math education and fostering an environment where all students, especially girls, have the opportunity to become the next generation of Katherine Johnsons, Dorothy Vaughans, and Mary Jacksons.

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