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Professor Talitha Washington’s speech is titled, “Hidden Figures: The Mathematics of Katherine Johnson.” What’s the mathematics that Katherine Johnson used to send John Glenn into orbit and bring him back safely? Who was the mathematician that created the mathematics in the “Hidden Figures” Hollywood movie? Come and uncover the equations created by Johnson during the Space Race, and how the mathematical consultant, Dr. Rudy Horne, created the mathematics for the movie.

Dr. Talitha Washington is a tenured associate professor of mathematics at Howard University. She is currently a program officer at the National Science Foundation in the Division of Undergraduate Education. She is interested in the applications of differential equations to problems in biology and engineering, as well as the development of nonstandard finite difference schemes to numerically solve dynamical systems.

Dr. Washington completed her undergraduate studies in mathematics at Spelman College and studied abroad at the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, Mexico. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in mathematics from the University of Connecticut. She was a VIGRE Research Associate in the Department of Mathematics at Duke University. She held assistant professorships at The College of New Rochelle and the University of Evansville, and most recently, an associate professorship at Howard University. She serves on the Council of the American Mathematical Society (AMS).

There will be refreshments available after the talk. The speaker series is supported by the Leila Parsons Fund and the William Beazell Fund.