Katherine Johnson

1918 - 2020

Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson (August 26, 1918 – February 24, 2020) was an American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights. During her 35-year career at NASA and its predecessor, she earned a reputation for mastering complex manual calculations and helped pioneer the use of computers to perform the tasks. The space agency noted her "historical role as one of the first African-American women to work as a NASA scientist".Johnson's work included calculating trajectories, launch windows, and emergency return paths for Project Mercury spaceflights, including those for astronauts Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and John Glenn, the first American in orbit, and rendezvous paths for the Apollo Lunar Module and command module on flights to the Moon. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Katherine Johnson has received more than 8,890,692 page views. Her biography is available in 33 different languages on Wikipedia making her the 119th most popular mathematician.

Memorability Metrics

  • 8.9M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 62.40

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 33

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 3.69

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 3.76

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of Katherine Johnsons by language


Among mathematicians, Katherine Johnson ranks 119 out of 746Before her are Ferdinand von Lindemann, Olga Ladyzhenskaya, Robert Aumann, Alexis Clairaut, John Couch Adams, and Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus. After her are Michael Atiyah, Émile Borel, Marian Rejewski, Edward Norton Lorenz, Michel Rolle, and Hermann Weyl.

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Among people born in 1918, Katherine Johnson ranks 30Before her are James Tobin, Muriel Spark, Franco Modigliani, Billy Graham, Bertram Brockhouse, and Ernst Otto Fischer. After her are Frederick Reines, Rosalia Lombardo, Jerome Karle, Julian Schwinger, Rosemary Kennedy, and Ahmed Deedat. Among people deceased in 2020, Katherine Johnson ranks 6Before her are Hosni Mubarak, Kirk Douglas, Max von Sydow, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Albert Uderzo. After her are Little Richard, Mary Higgins Clark, Philip Warren Anderson, Stirling Moss, Kenny Rogers, and Clive Cussler.

Others Born in 1918

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In United States

Among people born in United States, Katherine Johnson ranks 778 out of 12,171Before her are Robert Solow (1924), Ferid Murad (1936), D. B. Cooper (1931), Richard Dean Anderson (1950), Vivian Maier (1926), and Rosalyn Sussman Yalow (1921). After her are John Dos Passos (1896), Mickey Rooney (1920), Raymond Carver (1938), L. Frank Baum (1856), Jean Harlow (1911), and Jerry Lee Lewis (1935).