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NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson being honored in bronze
By Associated Press
Published June 7, 2018

In this Feb. 26, 2017, file photo, Katherine Johnson, the inspiration for the film, “Hidden Figures,” poses in the press room at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Katherine Johnson, the NASA mathematician whose calculations helped astronauts return to Earth, is being honored at her alma mater with a bronze statue and a scholarship in her name.

West Virginia State University says a dedication ceremony is planned for Aug. 25, the day before Johnson’s 100th birthday.

Long before the digital era, Johnson worked as a human “computer” at the agency that became NASA, working in relative obscurity as an African-American woman. Her contributions were later recognized in the “Hidden Figures” movie, with actress Taraji P. Henson playing her role.

West Virginia State hopes to endow the scholarship at $100,000, awarding money to students majoring in science, technology, engineering and math, targeting people who are underrepresented in those fields.

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