As America stood on the brink of a Second World War, the push for aeronautical advancement grew even greater, spurring an insatiable demand for mathematicians. women were the solution. Ushered into the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory 1935 to shoulder the burden of number crunching, they acted as human computers, freeing the engineers of hand. calculation in the decades before the digital age. Sharp and successful, the female population at Langley skyrocketed.
Many of these "computers" are finally getting their due, but conspicuously missing from this story of female achievement are the efforts contributed by courageous, African-American women. Called the West Computers, after the area to which they were relegate, they helped blaze a trail for mathematicians and engineers of all races and genders to follow. Join us as we watch and discuss the film afterwards with Dr. Sara Kassis, Adjunct Professor of Engineering Science and the Director for Women in Tech.