Nathalia Holt visited Google’s office in Cambridge, MA to discuss her book “Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars”.
In the 1940s and 50s, when the new Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, 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. The book (based on extensive research and interviews with all the living members of the team) tells the stories of these women–known as “human computers”–who broke the boundaries of both gender and science.
Nathalia Holt, Ph.D., is a science writer. Her first book was “Cured: The People who Defeated HIV”. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Slate, Popular Science, and Time.