Mary Golda Ross (1908 – 2008)
Mary Ross was the first American Indian female engineer. Her accomplishments were vital to the development of the U.S space program. Ross taught maths and science in her native place: Oklahoma before taking a job of improving fighting planes during world war II.
Enjoying maths and science as a child, Cherokee Mary Golda Ross was never daunted by the fact that boys studied this subject more than girls. “I was the only female in my class”, she recalled, “but I could hold my own with (the guys) and sometimes did better.”
“To function efficiently, you need math. The world is so technical, if you plan to work in it, a math background will let you go farther and faster”
After the war, she pursued her dreams to exploring the possibilities of space travel. Working as part of a team of top engineers she developed concepts for interplanetary travel and satellites, ballistic middles, and even rockets used during Apollo lunar mission.
Correcting the design issue was the task of a team of engineers assisted by mathematician Mary Ross, as she was known by her co-workers at Lockheed. Isolating the problem was difficult and eventually was traced to multiple factors.
Part of a team, working in secrecy, Ross must have made significant contributions to resolving problems plaguing the P-38, for at the end of the war, officials at Lockheed asked her to continue working for them and offered to underwrite the cost of education at the University of California, Los Angeles, to secure certification as an engineer.
When most Rosie the Riveters returned to their homes and families at the end of World War II, 37-year-old Mary Golda Ross remained at Lockheed doing a job usually considered “men’s work” for at least another generation
“Leading by example, Ross also opened doors for future generations of women and American Indians by participating in efforts to encourage their pursuits in STEM fields, including being a member and Fellow of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE),” says the Google Doodle profile of Ross.
Golden rule: Tolerance, acceptance, making a change positively in the society . How do you beg to differ in where you are positively?
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