Dr. Gladys West: The Mathematician Who Reshaped Our World

Command Line Heroes

Episode | Podcast

Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2020 04:25:36 +0000

<p>Aristotle and Eratosthenes are big names in geodesy. They got pretty close to measuring the size of the Earth. But the woman who got it done? She grew up a farmer, dreaming of something bigger. And her work changed how we see the world.</p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/DrGladysBWest">Dr. Gladys West</a> didn’t have much room for error in her quest for higher education. Marvin Jackson recounts the obstacles in her path—and the challenges she faced in her early career. <a href="https://twitter.com/schrockg?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Gavin Schrock</a> traces how geodesy progressed before Dr. West, and how foundational her work was for the GPS systems that followed. <a href="https://airandspace.si.edu/people/staff/paul-ceruzzi">Paul Ceruzzi</a> describes the state-of-the-art technology available at Dahlgren that helped Dr. West model the world. <a href="https://www.ae.utexas.edu/people/faculty/faculty-directory/humphreys">Todd Humphreys</a> explains how that model, and the GPS systems that use it, support our way of life in more ways than we realize.</p><p>It’s an astounding story that may never have been told if it hadn’t been for Gwen James, Dr. West’s <a href="https://aka1908.com/">Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority</a> sister. She makes the case for telling these stories before they’re lost—because there are definitely more of them out there.</p><p>If you want to read up on some of our research on Dr. Gladys West, you can check out all our bonus material over at <a href="https://www.redhat.com/en/command-line-heroes/season-6/gladys-west">redhat.com/commandlineheroes</a>. </p><p>Follow along with <a href="https://www.redhat.com/en/command-line-heroes/season-6/gladys-west#transcript-tray">the episode transcript.</a></p>