Valerie Thomas: Why she kicks ass
- She is a scientist and inventor, who invented the illusion transmitter for which she received a patent in 1980. (This is an invention that NASA continues to use to this day.)
- She went to an all-girls school where she did not receive any training in the sciences. Implicit stereotypes contributed to this, as the girls school did not teach the students about math or science, so she had to educate herself about those subjects. She later attended Morgan State University, and was one of two women in majoring in physics.
- She worked at NASA, first as a data analyst and then moving on to oversee the creation of the Landsat program, then as project manager for the Space Physics Analysis Network and was associate chief for NASA’s Space Science Data Operations Office. She also participated in projects related to Halley’s Comet, ozone research, and the Voyager spacecraft.
- She retired in August 1995 as Space Science Data Operations Officer, serving as manager of the NASA Automated Systems Incident Response Capability and serving as chair of the SSDOO Education Committee.
- She is currently an associate at the UMBC Center for Multicore Hybrid Productivity Research, and also serves as a mentor for youth through the Science Mathematics Aerospace Research and Technology and National Technical Association.