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Posts tagged ‘Engineer’

Hidden Figures Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson, the movie Hidden Figures protagonist, was something of a child prodigy. Coming from the small West Virginian town of White Sulphur Springs, she graduated from high school at 14 and the historically black West Virginia State University at 18. In 1938, as a graduate student, she became one of three students—and the only woman—to desegregate West Virginia’s state college. In 1953, Johnson was hired by NACA and, five years later, NACA became NASA thanks to the Space Act of 1958.

Johnson’s first big NASA assignment was computing the trajectories for Alan Shepard’s historic flight in 1961. Johnson and her team’s job was to trace out in extreme detail Freedom 7’s exact path from liftoff to splashdown. Since it was designed to be a ballistic flight—in that, it was like a bullet from a gun with a capsule going up and coming down in a big parabola—it was relatively simple in least in the context of what was to come. Nonetheless, it was a huge success and NASA immediately set their sights on America’s first orbital mission.

 The film primarily focuses on John Glenn’s 1962 trip around the globe and does add dramatic flourishes that are, well, Hollywood. However, most of the events in the movie are historically accurate. Johnson’s main job in the lead-up and during the mission was to double-check and reverse engineer the newly-installed IBM 7090s trajectory calculations. As it shows, there were very tense moments during the flight that forced the mission to end earlier than expected. And John Glenn did request that Johnson specifically check and confirm trajectories and entry points that the IBM spat out (albeit, perhaps, not at the exact moment that the movie depicts). As Shetterly wrote in her book and explained in a September NPR interview, Glenn did not completely trust the computer. So, he asked the head engineers to “get the girl to check the numbers… If she says the numbers are good… I’m ready to go.”

Johnson would go on to work on the Apollo program, too, including performing trajectory calculations that assisted the 1969 moon landing. She would retire from NASA in 1986. In 2015, President Obama gave Katherine Johnson the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Barbie’s Book Sparks Outrage

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Barbie’s: I Can Be a Computer Engineer’ book, which was released in 2013, has been slammed for being one of the most sexist and demoralizing representations of how women can excel in computer science.

Novelist and screenwriter Pamela Ribbon, reviewed the content of the book, found the book at a friend’s house and was dismayed to see how out of touch the content was from reality.

In the book, which is ostensibly aimed at young girls with the goal of interesting them in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) careers, Barbie wants to be a computer engineer, but requires the help of two male friends to solve her computer problems.

Barbie, who is working on a game idea to teach girls about computers using puppies, tells her sister Skipper in the book that she is only creating the design ideas because she’ll need Steven’s and Brian’s help to “turn it into a real game!”

Barbie, who is working on a game idea to teach girls about computers using puppies, tells her sister Skipper in the book that she is only creating the design ideas because she’ll need Steven’s and Brian’s help to “turn it into a real game!”

The plot thickens when a virus infects Barbie’s computer, Barbie’s female computer science teacher instructs her how to backup and repair an infected computer (a good skill), but to actually get that done she needs Steven and Brian’s help.

The book, published by Random House, received withering comments online as female programmers, engineers and pop stars, who freelance as InfoSec experts, all chimed in with their criticism and “suggestions” to fix the text of the book

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Commotion Over The Bitcoin Creator

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Newsweek,  dropped a bombshell on Thursday: that the Bitcoin creator was actually an individual named Satoshi Nakamoto, who later on changed his name to Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto. He  is a 64-year-old who lives in a modest house with his mom. In his two-hour interview with the AP, Nakamoto has denied any involvement with Bitcoin and says he is  not Dorian Nakamoto. 

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The Auto Industry Engineers & The Coders

 

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Automakers are venturing on an ambitious drive to hire software “codaholics,” thats pitting Detroit against its technology partners in Silicon Valley. The auto industry is so much more high-tech than people realize,” Nair said in an interview early this year. “So we’re really competing against West Coast industries.

Four years the auto industry restructuring that included massive job cuts, Ford and its U.S. rivals need to hire thousands of engineers at a time when software is playing a much more prominent role in vehicle design than even a few years ago.

Millions of lines of computer code increasingly are the  core vehicle functions such as  braking and air-conditioning. Electronic parts including sensors and microcontrollers, used in laptop computers and smartphones, are the backbone of such vehicles. This  shift has General Motors Co., Ford and Chrysler Group LLC  seeking a  a new kind of talent — engineers with software, electronic and computer network skills — that has typically ignored Detroit. The auto industry  has been forced to increase salaries and seek promote Michigan’s image as a good place to work -this is no easy task for the automaker.

Ford is about halfway through its goal of hiring 3,000 salaried employees this year, as part of its largest hiring blitz in more than a decade. The bulk of these jobs will be engineers and IT specialists who will be based in Michigan.

General Motors CEO  wants to hire thousands of “codaholics” to write software applications for GM’s lineup of vehicles.

But these same candidates are also pondering attractive offers from other industries –like Apple Inc. and Google Inc. Executives, engineers and recruiters expect the war for talent only to intensify over the next several years.

The skill sets in  the computer industry, cell phones, all the other technology have become the same type of skill sets thats wanted in the auto industry. 

The role of computer systems in the vehicle is increasing as consumers clamor for “connected” cars that can sync with smartphones, provide real-time traffic reports or parallel-park themselves. Ernst & Young predicts that 104 million vehicles worldwide will have some form of connectivity in the next dozen years. Currently,automakers are redoubling their recruiting efforts to combat that image, by showing how they have changed since the 2009 economic crisis that pushed GM and Chrysler Group LLC into bankruptc

 

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