A Series of Vector Portraits inspired by women in technology and the technological arts.
This series hung on display in the Marietta Technology Center during Women’s History Month 2018.
Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852) was a writer and mathematician who worked with Charles Babbage on his Analytical Engine. It was Ada who created an algorithm for the early computer to process numbers sequentially. This is widely considered to be the first computer program.
Hedy Lamarr (1914 – 2000) was best known as a movie star, but her often overlooked significance in technology changed our world. As an inventor she developed a radio guidance system for torpedoes during World War II, upon the basis of which Wi-Fi and Bluetooth were later developed.
Christine Darden (1942 – ) began working as a data analyst at Langley Research Center in 1967 after teaching mathematics at Virginia State University. She advanced into aeronautical research and engineering where her work on the Sonic Boom Team helped revolutionize aerospace engineering, reducing noise pollution and ozone layer depletion. She retired from NASA in 2007 with an extensive collection of prestigious awards and was profiled in the book Hidden Figures.
Lotte Reiniger (1899 – 1981) was an early filmmaker whose work with silhouette animation created the foundation for those who would follow her – especially Walt Disney. Contrary to the Disney Myth, Reiniger actually developed the first multiplane camera that Disney would later modify and patent. She also released the first feature length animated film – The Adventures of Prince Achmed – a full decade before Disney’s first feature Snow White. Reiniger fled Germany as the Nazis rose to power in the 1930’s but was forced to return in 1944. Much of her early work was lost in the war. After the war was over, she settled in London, where she spent the remainder of her life animating classic children’s fairy tales.
Berenice Abbott (1898 – 1991) was a photographer and inventor whose fascination with the science of the physical world led her to create pioneering work in scientific photography. Her photographs made a tremendous contribution to the advances in the study of physics in particular.
Katherine Johnson (1918 – ) is one of the people who put us on the moon. As a mathematician Johnson’s data provided a critical level of accuracy to a number of NASA missions, from Alan Shepherd and John Glenn’s early flights to Apollo 11 and up through the Space Shuttle missions. Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015, Johnson is one of the primary women of NASA profiled in the book and movie Hidden Figures.
Wendy Carlos (1939 – ) is a pioneer in electronic music, who became known for electronic recordings of classical music in such soundtracks as A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, and Tron, as well as the Switched-On Bach series. At the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, Carlos supervised the development of the synthesizer first designed by Robert Moog.
Melba Roy Mouton (1929 – 1990) headed up NASA’s group of mathematicians doing computations for tracking of the Echo Satellites. She rose to later serve as Head Computer Programmer and Program Production Chief at Goddard Space Flight Center. She retired in 1973 as a recipient of both NASA’s Apollo Achievement Award and Exceptional Performance Award.
Sophie Wilson (1957 – ) is a computer scientist and software engineer who created the Acorn Microcomputer and its programming language BBC BASIC. She later went on to develop the ARM processor integral to modern smartphones.
Suzanne Ciani (1946 – ) is a sound designer and composer who studied computer generated music at Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Labs in the early 70’s. Ciani saw the potential of electronic music early on and went on to create sound effects and soundtracks for an extensive list of movies and television programs. Her work pioneered techniques in sequencing and the use of modular synthesizers.