Discussion Questions On Computer Pool

969 WordsMar 7, 20174 Pages
Discussion Question Answers “When Computers Wore Skirts:” Katherine Johnson, Christine Darden, and the “West Computers” 1. Compare Katherine Johnson’s and Christine Darden’s life and experience at NASA. How were their experiences similar? How were they different? - Both were hired for a seperated pool of women computers rather than higher-status engineers. - Johnson was hired for a segregated all-black computer pool, for Darden, the computer pool was all women, but it was mixed race. - Johnson calculated and programmed flight paths from known technical specifications. Darden designed experiments and did research to come up with new technologies and physical laws. - Johnson never became an administrator, but Darden became technical leader…show more content…
However, she submitted her application and became part of the computer pool because of her math background. - Christine Darden asked her supervisor why women were always hired as computers or data analysts while men were hired as engineers. When he couldn’t answer her, she asked to do her own research and became an engoineer herself. 4. How was the computer pool organized? How did the computers receive assignments? How did this change over time? - There was a pool of white women computers and a segregated pool of black women computers. Both computer pools would hand-run calculations given to them by male engineers. Prepared by the Center for History of Physics at AIP 2 - The Engineering section would either come to the head of the “computers” and tell them what they wanted done, or they would ask for one of the computers to come work on a specific engineering project. - First, female computers started used mechanical calculators to assist them in their calculations. Then, they started programming electronic computers to run their calculations. For a while, they would check the electronic computers calculations by hand. - [Female] Computers transitioned to programming electronic computers. If the [female] computer had a math degree they were taught programming so that they could work on the electronic computers. 5. What major historical events led to the first African American women being able to work at NASA? - World War II led to a
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