Spotlight: Dr. Katie Bouman

This week was exciting for all the space nerds out there (raising hand high)! For the first time, we were able to see images of a black hole. And, behind the amazing algorithm that made it possible was Dr. Katie Bouman.

Dr. Bouman began her work on capturing a black hole image when she was a graduate student at MIT. She’s led the project for the last three years working with teams of scientists from the most prestigious institutions. The original image was captured by a network of eight telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope and was then rendered by the algorithm Dr. Bouman created. This feat was previously thought impossible, considering black holes were known to be, by definition, invisible.

Dr. Bouman is currently a professor of computing and mathematical science at the California Institute of Technology. The recognition she has received for her work makes me so incredibly thrilled for all the young girls interested in math, science and engineering who now have another wonderful role model to look up to. Dr. Bouman is proof that you can achieve the impossible if you have the grit, tenacity and desire. She has made an incredible contribution to our understanding of the universe, and for that, she gets this week’s Spotlight.

If you have 12 minutes and 52 seconds to spare, below is Dr. Bouman’s TED Talk about her marvelous work.

Via YouTube.com

Have someone you’d like to see included in the Friday Spotlight? Let me know in the comments!

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