Hidden Figures pictuer

The recent Fox movie hit, “Hidden Figures”, proves once again math indeed can solve the problems of the world.¬† Lead by a cast including Taraji Henson, Octivia Spencer, Kevin Costner, Janelle Monae and other award winners, this movie is packing in audiences of all ages, races, genders and other diverse characteristics showing how math crosses many divides and can be a tool that brings everyone together.

The movie starts out with a colored elementary age school girl doing math at the blackboard in West Virginia.¬† Needless to say, I loved the movie.¬†¬† The IBM character an IBM 7090 also plays a key supporting role.¬† This movie is based on the true story of Dorothy Vaughan, Katherine Johnson, and Mary Jackson¬† as human “computers” who helped and were supported by John Glenn in NASA’s space race.¬† These women endured challenges in that past that haven reduced, some unfortunately still exist today and we can follow their lead on how anyone might address a variety of challenges in the future.

Using education as the tool to advance is one great lessons to take away from this movie.  Taking advantage of the IBM Academic Initiative and the IBM Skills Academy are resources available to faculty and students who learn from the past, want to invest in education today and make a place for ourselves and others in the future.   At IBM skills are the cornerstone of how to stay relevant as demonstrated in this movie and in life:  http://adsoftheworld.com/media/film/ibm_stem_diversity_at_ibm

The below picture is of three books from my personal library.  The first book is my college Fortran book.  The second is Hidden Figures and the third book is my 2016 Programming 7 in 1 book.    If you watch the movie (or read the book) you will enjoy a range of emotions.  There may be a point in the movie when you remember this picture and may encourage you to learn something new and/or be part of someone else learning something new.   When that happens, consider starting here: http://onthehub.com/ibm/

Three related books in the Kennedy library:

Hidden Figues books


Valinda Kennedy

Twitter:  @vscarbro and @ibmskills

Blog:  https://vscarbro.wordpress.com/

IBM Academic Initiative:  http://onthehub.com/ibm/


6 comments on"Hidden Figures and IBM Past, Present and (our) Future"

  1. Heather Ricciuto January 24, 2017

    Such an inspiring story. So glad it is no longer hidden! Honoured to have hosted ~300 middle school girls at a special IBM screening earlier this month.

  2. Amritha Alapati February 17, 2017

    Stoked to see IBM doing always the essential and right things, ages ago and now, good to be an IBMer.

  3. Here is a link ( https://www.c-span.org/video/?414833-1/margot-lee-shetterly-discusses-hidden-figures) to an hour long video featuring the Hidden Figures Margot Lee Shetterly who talks about her book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, in which she recalls a group of African-American women, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, who, starting in World War II and through the Cold War, were integral in the devising of the aeronautic calculations that propelled the United States to the lead in the space race.

  4. Can anyone give me information on the IBM 7090 computers that were used in the movie?

  5. Watching Hidden Figures in Fox right now. Makes me so proud I am an IBMer for 10 years and looking for more!

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