New Display: Faces Behind the Science

The theme of this display is centered around Math and Space Science, with a special focus on gender and racial inclusion. The theme has its inspiration from the movie Hidden Figures and academic literature on the role played by black women in mathematics and scientific advances.

Hidden Figures was released worldwide in December 2016, and was inspired by the non-fiction book written by Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race. Hidden Figures is a drama about black women working for NASA as “human computers” in the early 1960s. Taraji P. Henson plays the role of Katherine Johnson, an African American mathematician whose calculations were critical for NASA’s spaceflight orbital mechanics.

“[…] before Apple and IBM, and modern processing units, the term computer was to refer to a person, human-computer tackled complex mathematical equations using only a pencil, paper, and their minds.” (Quote from the book Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt, p. 13)

By Miguel Chiau

Films

  • Hidden Figures.  PN1997.2 H53 2017
  • Black Panther.  PN1997.2 B536 2018
  • The Joy of Mathematics.  QA93 J69 2007
  • The Story of Math.  QA39.2 S7 2009
  • Naturally Obsessed: The Making of a Scientist.  Q147 N38 2010
  • The Imitation Game.  PN1997.2 I45 2015
  • Contact.  PS3569 A287 C6 2009
  • The Martian.  PN1997.2 M377 2016
  • Arrival.  PN1997.2 A776 2017
  • The Social Network.  PN1997.2 S63 2011
  • Revolution OS [Hackers, Programmers & Rebels Unite].  QA76.9 A25 R68 2003
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  PT9876.22 A6933 M3613 2010

Books

  • Sisters in Science: Conversations with Black Women Scientists about Race, Gender, and Their Passion for Science / [interviews by] Diann Jordan.  Q141 S556 2006
  • Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars / Nathalia Holt.  TL 862 J48 H65 2016
  • Removing Barriers: Women in Academic Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics / edited by Jill M. Bystydzienski and Sharon R. Bird.  Q130 R46 2006
  • Women in Mathematics: The Addition of Difference / Claudia Henrion.  QA27.5 H46 1997

Image courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Credit: NASA/MSFC/David Higginbotham). NASA’s Next Generation Space Telescope Marks Key Milestone. https://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/5622375836/in/album-72157646899236025/ Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)