Who is Katie Bouman and why is she connected to the first black hole picture?
Internet is a complex place and being famous on the internet is not always a great thing. But for Katie Bouman, an MIT graduate, who might just be the most famous woman on the internet since Wednesday, it’s all great and dream come true. Her recognition is likely to withstand well beyond the 15 minutes owing to her imperative role in an exceptional and excellent historic development in science.
Katie, a computer scientist, steered the formation of a new algorithm to create the first-ever image of a black hole. That’s right. And, on Wednesday that image was finally released.
While still at school, Katie had developed the program and more recently has been working in secrecy on managing the testing to verify the images of black hole.
In the initial reporting of this historic scientific event of this decade, her fame and contribution, to what she herself describes a big team effort, wasn’t front and center but thanks to social media, she has got the recognition she deserves.
In 2016, Katie gave a TedX talk tiled “How to take a picture of a black hole,” in which she briefly explained that “getting this first picture will come down to an international team of scientists, an Earth-sized telescope and an algorithm that puts together the final picture.”
She had said, “At the heart of the Milky Way, there’s a supermassive black hole that feeds off a spinning disk of hot gas, sucking up anything that ventures too close — even light. We can’t see it, but its event…”
Katie’s role in the development is being reported as predominantly significant due to the shortage of women in STEM around the globe.
This young woman in America has played such a pivotal role in making the ‘impossible possible’ in computer science and is powerful in its imagery. Literally.
Beyond Exclamation is beyond words to describe how thankful we are to her contribution. Take a bow, Katie Bouman.