Download and read online Hidden Figures in PDF and EPUB The #1 New York Times bestseller The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner. Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens. Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future.
Download and read online The Glass Universe in PDF and EPUB New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Dava Sobel, the "inspiring" (People), little-known true story of women's landmark contributions to astronomy "A joy to read.” —The Wall Street Journal Named one of the best books of the year by NPR, The Economist, Smithsonian, Nature, and NPR's Science Friday Nominated for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or “human computers,” to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. At the outset this group included the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but soon the female corps included graduates of the new women's colleges—Vassar, Wellesley, and Smith. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the ladies turned from computation to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates. The “glass universe” of half a million plates that Harvard amassed over the ensuing decades—through the generous support of Mrs. Anna Palmer Draper, the widow of a pioneer in stellar photography—enabled the women to make extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. They helped discern what stars were made of, divided the stars into meaningful categories for further research, and found a way to measure distances across space by starlight. Their ranks included Williamina Fleming, a Scottish woman originally hired as a maid who went on to identify ten novae and more than three hundred variable stars; Annie Jump Cannon, who designed a stellar classification system that was adopted by astronomers the world over and is still in use; and Dr. Cecilia Helena Payne, who in 1956 became the first ever woman professor of astronomy at Harvard—and Harvard’s first female department chair. Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries, and memoirs, The Glass Universe is the hidden history of the women whose contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.
Download and read online We Could Not Fail in PDF and EPUB The Space Age began just as the struggle for civil rights forced Americans to confront the long and bitter legacy of slavery, discrimination, and violence against African Americans. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson utilized the space program as an agent for social change, using federal equal employment opportunity laws to open workplaces at NASA and NASA contractors to African Americans while creating thousands of research and technology jobs in the Deep South to ameliorate poverty. We Could Not Fail tells the inspiring, largely unknown story of how shooting for the stars helped to overcome segregation on earth. Richard Paul and Steven Moss profile ten pioneer African American space workers whose stories illustrate the role NASA and the space program played in promoting civil rights. They recount how these technicians, mathematicians, engineers, and an astronaut candidate surmounted barriers to move, in some cases literally, from the cotton fields to the launching pad. The authors vividly describe what it was like to be the sole African American in a NASA work group and how these brave and determined men also helped to transform Southern society by integrating colleges, patenting new inventions, holding elective office, and reviving and governing defunct towns. Adding new names to the roster of civil rights heroes and a new chapter to the story of space exploration, We Could Not Fail demonstrates how African Americans broke the color barrier by competing successfully at the highest level of American intellectual and technological achievement.
Download and read online Rise of the Rocket Girls in PDF and EPUB "If Hidden Figures has you itching to learn more about the women who worked in the space program, pick up Nathalia Holt's lively, immensely readable history, Rise of the Rocket Girls." --Entertainment Weekly The riveting true story of the women who launched America into space. In the 1940s and 50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they didn't turn to male graduates. Rather, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible. For the first time, Rise of the Rocket Girls tells the stories of these women--known as "human computers"--who broke the boundaries of both gender and science. Based on extensive research and interviews with all the living members of the team, Rise of the Rocket Girls offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science: both where we've been, and the far reaches of space to which we're heading.
Download and read online A Mind at Play in PDF and EPUB The life and times of one of the foremost intellects of the twentieth century: Claude Shannon—the architect of the Information Age, whose insights stand behind every computer built, email sent, video streamed, and webpage loaded. Claude Shannon was a groundbreaking polymath, a brilliant tinkerer, and a digital pioneer. He constructed a fleet of customized unicycles and a flamethrowing trumpet, outfoxed Vegas casinos, and built juggling robots. He also wrote the seminal text of the digital revolution, which has been called “the Magna Carta of the Information Age.” His discoveries would lead contemporaries to compare him to Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton. His work anticipated by decades the world we’d be living in today—and gave mathematicians and engineers the tools to bring that world to pass. In this elegantly written, exhaustively researched biography, Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman reveal Claude Shannon’s full story for the first time. It’s the story of a small-town Michigan boy whose career stretched from the era of room-sized computers powered by gears and string to the age of Apple. It’s the story of the origins of our digital world in the tunnels of MIT and the “idea factory” of Bell Labs, in the “scientists’ war” with Nazi Germany, and in the work of Shannon’s collaborators and rivals, thinkers like Alan Turing, John von Neumann, Vannevar Bush, and Norbert Wiener. And it’s the story of Shannon’s life as an often reclusive, always playful genius. With access to Shannon’s family and friends, A Mind at Play brings this singular innovator and creative genius to life.
Download and read online The Oxford Illustrated History of Science in PDF and EPUB The Oxford Illustrated History of Science is the first ever fully illustrated global history of science, from Aristotle to the atom bomb - and beyond. The first part of the book tells the story of science in both East and West from antiquity to the Enlightenment: from the ancient Mediterranean world to ancient China; from the exchanges between Islamic and Christian scholars in the Middle Ages to the Chinese invention of gunpowder, paper, and the printing press; from the Scientific Revolution of sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe to the intellectual ferment of the eighteenth century. The chapters that follow focus on the increasingly specialized story of science since end of the eighteenth century, covering experimental science in the laboratory from Michael Faraday to CERN; the exploration of nature, from intrepid Victorian explorers to twentieth century primatologists; the mapping of the universe, from the discovery of Uranus to Big Bang theory; the impact of evolutionary ideas, from Lamarck, Darwin, and Wallace to DNA; and the story of theoretical physics, from James Clark Maxwell to Quantum Theory and beyond. A concluding chapter reflects on how scientists have communicated their work to a wider public, from the Great Exhibition of 1851 to the internet in the early twenty-first century.
Download and read online The Grid in PDF and EPUB America's electrical grid, an engineering triumph of the twentieth century, is turning out to be a poor fit for the present. It's not just that the grid has grown old and is now in dire need of basic repair. Today, as we invest great hope in new energy sources--solar, wind, and other alternatives--the grid is what stands most firmly in the way of a brighter energy future. If we hope to realize this future, we need to re-imagine the grid according to twenty-first-century values. It's a project which forces visionaries to work with bureaucrats, legislators with storm-flattened communities, moneymen with hippies, and the left with the right. And though it might not yet be obvious, this revolution is already well under way. Cultural anthropologist Gretchen Bakke unveils the many facets of America's energy infrastructure, its most dynamic moments and its most stable ones, and its essential role in personal and national life. The grid, she argues, is an essentially American artifact, one which developed with us: a product of bold expansion, the occasional foolhardy vision, some genius technologies, and constant improvisation. Most of all, her focus is on how Americans are changing the grid right now, sometimes with gumption and big dreams and sometimes with legislation or the brandishing of guns. The Grid tells--entertainingly, perceptively--the story of what has been called "the largest machine in the world†?: its fascinating history, its problematic present, and its potential role in a brighter, cleaner future.
Download and read online Logicomix in PDF and EPUB This exceptional graphic novel recounts the spiritual odyssey of philosopher Bertrand Russell. In his agonized search for absolute truth, Russell crosses paths with legendary thinkers like Gottlob Frege, David Hilbert, and Kurt GÃ¶del, and finds a passionate student in the great Ludwig Wittgenstein. But his most ambitious goal-to establish unshakable logical foundations of mathematics-continues to loom before him. Through love and hate, peace and war, Russell persists in the dogged mission that threatens to claim both his career and his personal happiness, finally driving him to the brink of insanity. This story is at the same time a historical novel and an accessible explication of some of the biggest ideas of mathematics and modern philosophy. With rich characterizations and expressive, atmospheric artwork, the book spins the pursuit of these ideas into a highly satisfying tale. Probing and ingeniously layered, the book throws light on Russell's inner struggles while setting them in the context of the timeless questions he spent his life trying to answer. At its heart, Logicomix is a story about the conflict between an ideal rationality and the unchanging, flawed fabric of reality.
Download and read online Flushed in PDF and EPUB An anecdotal history of plumbing from the Harappan of 3000 B.C. to the modern world is a tribute to such engineering achievements as the lead pipes of the Roman empire, the sewers of London, and Japanese toilets. By the author of Stolen Water. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.
Download and read online In Code in PDF and EPUB Sarah Flannery is a cryptographer and mathematician already with an international reputation. She is also a sport-loving Co. Cork teenager who takes her Leaving Certificate next year. In this remarkable book, written with her father, her first maths teacher, she writes about her life, mathematics and making codes - and this extraordinary year. That is just one of the scores of media comments from all over the world which followed Sarah's winning this January, at the age of 16, the Irish Young Scientist of the Year award with a highly innovative, speedy and secure system of encoding data on the Internet. Since then she has travelled the world and lectured, and had approaches from many computer companies and universities. Her system still needs full peer evaluation but what is not in doubt is the originality of her mathematical mind. Her book offers many different things: it is a fresh and modest self-portrait by a girl who is the reverse of a comic-strip swot; it is an inspiring account of a mathematical education; with many puzzles and examples it offers a mass of insights into cryptography and numeracy.
Download and read online Compass A Story of Exploration and Innovation in PDF and EPUB "The compass' rocky evolution is charted with an enthusiast's passion....A fascinating adventure."—Bernadette Murphy, Los Angeles Times Compass chronicles the misadventures of those who attempted to perfect the magnetic compass—so precious to sixteenth-century seamen that, by law, any man found tampering with it had his hand pinned to the mast with a dagger. From the time man first took to the seas until only one thousand years ago, sight and winds were the sailor's only navigational aids. It was not until the development of the compass that maps and charts could be used with any accuracy—even so, it would be hundreds of years and thousands of shipwrecks before the marvelous instrument was perfected. And its history up to modern times is filled with the stories of disasters that befell sailors who misused it. In this page-turning history of man's search for reliable navigation of treacherous sea routes around the globe, Alan Gurney brings to life the instrument Victor Hugo called "the soul of the ship."
Download and read online The Queen of Katwe in PDF and EPUB One day in 2005 while searching for food, nine-year-old Ugandan Phiona Mutesi followed her brother to a dusty veranda where she met Robert Katende. Katende, a war refugee turned missionary, had an improbable dream: to empower kids in the Katwe slum through chess - a game so foreign there is no word for it in their native language. Laying a chessboard in the dirt, Robert began to teach. At first children came for a free bowl of porridge, but many grew to love the game that - like their daily lives - requires persevering against great obstacles. Of these kids, one girl stood out as an immense talent: Phiona. By the age of eleven Phiona was her country's junior champion, and at fifteen, the national champion. Now a Woman Candidate Master - the first female titled player in her country's history - Phiona dreams of becoming a Grandmaster, the most elite level in chess. But to reach that goal, she must grapple with everyday life in one of the world's most unstable countries. The Queen of Katwe is a remarkable and inspirational book that shows how 'Phiona's story transcends the limitations of the chessboard' (Robert Hess, US Grandmaster).
Download and read online The Book in PDF and EPUB A lavish material history of the world s most popular and most powerful medium."
Download and read online The Paper Trail in PDF and EPUB This is the story of how paper, a simple Chinese invention, has wrapped itself around our world, with history's most momentous ideas etched upon its surface. The emergence of paper in the imperial court of Han China brought about a revolution in the transmission of knowledge and of ideas. For over two millennia, it has allowed ideas, religions, philosophies and propaganda to spread around the world with ever greater ease. Paper was the first writing surface sufficiently cheap, portable and printable for books, pamphlets, prints and journals to be mass-produced and to travel widely. It enabled an ongoing dialogue between communities of scholars who could now engage with each others' ideas across continents and years. The Paper Trail traces the westward voyage of this ground-breaking invention; beginning with the Buddhist translators responsible for the spread of paper across China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. It describes the theologians, scientists and artists who used paper to create the intellectual world of the Abbasid Caliphate, and journeys with the missionaries and merchants who carried it along the Silk Road. Paper finally reached Europe in 1276 and was indispensable to the scholars and translators who manufactured the Renaissance and Reformation from their desks. Paper created a world in which free thinking could flourish, and brought disciplines from science to music into a new age: the paper age. Paper still surrounds us in our everyday lives - on our desks, wrapping our food, in our wallets. It has become universal, and also supremely disposable. But is the age of paper coming to an end?
Download and read online Rubble in PDF and EPUB A critical analysis of the social, scientific, and economic implications of architectural destruction explains how the art of demolition has become a multibillion-dollar business, offers profiles of such demolition impresarios as Mark Loizeaux, and provides firsthand descriptions of major implosion sites. Reprint. 10,000 first printing.