Sylvia Miller

Sylvia Miller in 1973 and today

Thank you to Kathy Kobayashi, who forwarded this LA Times article featuring a new book about the women who worked as programmers at JPL by Nathalia Holt, “Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars.”  See the article for a recent interview with Sylvia Miller.

The picture above, from the LA Times Article is captioned “Sylvia Miller, pictured on the left in 1973, was one of the last human computers hired by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1968. She is now one of the female subjects in a newly released book by Nathalia Holt titled “Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars.” Miller went on to have a 40-year career at JPL and retired in 2008. (Left: Courtesy of Jet Propulsion Laboratory / Right: Tim Berger / Staff Photographer)”

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Lucy Jones


Image of Jones in the LA Times Article credited to KNBC.

Thanks to physicist Karen Daniels, who pointed out this LA Times article about the retirement of U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones.  The article notes that  “She’s retiring from the USGS this month to help officials develop science-based policies related to climate change, tsunamis and other kinds of natural disasters.”

The article discusses her interesting educational history and career, which included an undergraduate degree in Chinese language and literature that led to her becoming the first American scientist to enter China in 1979 to study earthquakes.


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Stephanie Shirley

Stephanie Shirley .png

Thank you to Lauren Buchsbaum, who pointed out this NPR Ted Radio hour piece on Dame Stephanie Shirley, a Kindertransport survivor who made it big in the tech business (pre-Mac and pc) and created a company for women to work and achieve while raising an autistic child.

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Mary Anning


Thanks to Allegra Swift for the suggestion of this JSTOR Daily article about forgotten female fossilists!



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Ellen Williams

Ellen Williams_Headshot.jpg

Thanks to Sam Kome, who pointed out this article on innovation in battery technology.  The effort is led by Dr. Ellen Williams, director of ARPA-E.

Here’s a release from Reuters:   A wing of the U.S. Department of Energy focused on breakthrough technologies may soon give billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s most recent foray into energy storage a run for its money, the unit’s director said.

Read more in an article in The Guardian and another in




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Aprille Ericsson


As part of the observance of Chicagoland Engineers Week, February 21-27, 2016, professional engineers, engineering societies, major corporations, CEO’s, and civic leaders will attend the Washington Award Benefit on Friday evening, February 26th at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, 720 S. Michigan, Chicago.  The Washington Award reminds us that our first president was an engineer, and recognizes an engineer whose accomplishments have “pre-eminently promoted the happiness, comfort and well-being of humanity.”  Dr. Aprille Ericsson,  Aerospace Engineer. NASA Gouda Space Flight Center will be this year’s 103rd recipient of the Washington Award.    She was the first female, and the first African-American female, to receive a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Howard University and the first African-American female to receive a Ph.D. in engineering at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.


In addition, nearly 100 students (3rd grade through high school) will be honored to recognize their accomplishments in a variety of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M.) program competitions (Future City Competition, Bridge Building Contest, FIRST Robotics Competition, Essay/Poster Contest, Illinois Science Fair and Destination ImagiNation, Inc.).

For further information visit or contact Laura Burke, Western Society of Engineers Chicagoland Engineers Week 2016 Committee at



Here’s some information about Dr. Ericsson on the NASA site


Thank you to Robert Johnson, SE, who sent GGSTEM this terrific information about Dr. Ericsson and many positive upcoming and past STEM outreach activities in Chicago (especially engineering-related programs). 

  • 2016 Chicagoland eWEEK (Engineers Week):    There will be  numerous  events to  celebrate the  engineering  profession,  exceptional  S.T.E.M.  students   and the ‘educate’   students  of all ages and the  public as to the accomplishments  of  engineers.
    February  19,  2016     –  Chicago Hilton & Towers,  Chicago
  • February 21-27, 2016     DiscovereINTRODUCE A GIRL TO ENGINEERING
  • February 25, 2016   Girls engineering day  hosted by Argonne Labs
  • Engineers Week   Benefit February 26, 2016 @   the Chicago  Hilton and Towers . Dozens of Exceptional S.T.E.M. students are honored at the Engineers  Week Banquet  Engineer  Aprille Ericsson, PhD.  to  receive the  prestigious  ‘Washington Award’    and students from several   engineering outreach programs   are honored.  2015 Pictures
  • IIT –Rice Campus Dupage Area eWEEK Expo   (Huge)  Depending on weather and parallel  program(s)  this  Expo can  draw  1000-2000 visitors!!!!!!Saturday,  February 27, 2016.  More info herePoster.
  • February  27, 2016 Northwestern  University   hosts   44th annual Career Day for Girls
  • February 27, 2016 Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (@UIC)
  • Program  February  27,  2016   @  IIT   National Society of Black Engineers  NSBE   (Chicago)  eWEEK program.   Tickets for the EXPO.
  • February 27, 2016  Chicago MATHCOUNTS Competition, CNA Headquarters, 333 S. Wabash Ave. Chicago, IL 60604.  8AM – 2PM
  • Sunday,    February 27, 28, 2016      (Waiting for exact  details) CAFamily “Engineering”  Day    Chicago engineers explain to children, students of all ages ++ parents how engineers shaped Chicago’s famed skyline.
  • US F.I.R.S.T  Robotics  Midwest Regional Finals  @ UIC  March 31 -April 2, 2016
  • May 7, 2016  International Bridge Contest
  • Coming in August:  The ICEBOX Derby   (2016).  Pictures from August 15, 2015.  Take   note of the African-Americans  girls  in the pictures !   You  may  even   recognize   Amandla Stenberg   (Hunger Games)   in a few  of the pictures! 

Past Chicago events — GOOD NEWS




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Julia Robinson

julia_robinson_book cover

Thank you to mathematician Peter Kuchment, who suggested “this wonderful book of Constance Reid about her sister Julia Robinson.”

Here’s a couple of really nice Amazon reviews of the book:

Format: Hardcover

Constance Reid was a wonderful biographer (see her books on Hilbert and on Courant). Here she wrote a touching account of the life of her sister, brilliant mathematician Julia Robinson. The time was, how should I put it, strange? Julia had achieved international fame and membership in the National Academy of Sciences BEFORE getting “normal” professor position.

Format: Hardcover

Constance Reid has created a gem of a book about her sister. Beginning with the information that all royalties will go for mathematical scholarships at Julia’s high school, through to Yuri Matijasevich’s slightly technical essay, informed with equal parts of love for Julia and for Hilbert’s Tenth Problem, there is a consistency of tone that shows Constance Reid to be a true artist of book creation. The tenacity, reticence, and generosity that Julia brought to her mathematical life are conveyed to the reader in every aspect of the book. Give this to anyone who does not yet understand that the passion for truth makes fine human beings. Although it is consistently played down, the shocking discrimination against women emerges consistently throughout the book. Julia Robinson gave abundantly to the world despite illness, discrimination, and other obstacles. Her very generous spirit shines through the pages of this book. Do yourself a favor, and read this beautiful tribute from Constance Reid, Lisl Gaal, Martin Davis, Yuri Matijasevich, and the Mathematical Association of America to Julia Bowman Robinson.


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