The Annual UNCG Regional Mathematics and Statistics Conference

The 13th Annual UNCG RMSC, Friday and Saturday, November 3-4, 2017

Morning Plenary Lecture

Exploring the Mathematics of the 'Hidden Figures'

presented by

Dr. Talitha M. Washington

Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics
Howard University

Abstract: Katharine Johnson is an African American mathematician who helped NASA get ahead in the Space Race during the segregation era. Johnson was featured in the book 'Hidden Figures' by Margot Lee Shetterly which became a Hollywood movie. We will explore the mathematics that Johnson used to send John Glenn into orbit and bring him back safely. We will also discuss the mathematics behind the diagrams presented in the 'Hidden Figures' movie.

Biosketch: Dr. Talitha Washington is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Howard University in Washington, DC. Her research is in the applications of differential equations to problems in biology and engineering, as well as the development of nonstandard finite difference schemes to numerically solve dynamical systems. She enjoys serving on the Council of the American Mathematical Society, Executive Committee of the Association for Women in Mathematics, Congress of the Mathematical Association of America, and the Board of the National Association of Mathematicians. Dr. Washington is also the 2017 Featured Teacher of Howard University's Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.