Yesterday Google Doodle celebrates the 110th birthday of Mary Golda Ross well known as Mary G Ross , a math stunner who became both the first female and Native American engineer at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, where she helped develop the rocket technology that launched America into space.
How genius when Ross learning
Mary G. Ross was born in the small town of Park Hill, Oklahoma. She was the great-granddaughter of the Cherokee Chief John Ross. She was sent to live with her grandparents in the Cherokee Nation capital to attend school.
When she was 16, Ross enrolled in Northeastern State Teachers’ College in Tahlequah. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1928, at age 20.
She received her master’s degree from the Colorado State Teachers College in Greeley in 1938 taking every astronomy class they had.
How smart when she working
Ross taught math and science in rural Oklahoma schools for nine years.
After receiving her master’s degree, she went to work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C. as a statistical clerk till 1937.
She moved to California to seek work when World War II started and she was hired by Lockheed as a mathematician in 1942. She worked on the P-38 Lightning fighter plane design until the end of World War II. When the company put her on a course at the University of California Los Angeles to get a professional certificate in engineering in 1948. Then came the space race.
Ross was asked by Lockheed to join its top-secret think tank “Skunk Works,” which assisted NASA in its aerospace engineering. She was one of just 40 engineers given the honor and helped send the U.S. into space, culminating in the 1969 moon landing, a seminal moment in American history.
According to The Smithsonian Magazine, Ross helped write NASA’s Planetary Flight Handbook, the agency’s space travel guide, and contributed to planning for flights to Mars. “Much of Ross’s work will never be known because it was—and still is—classified,” The Smithsonian article says.
After retiring from Lockheed in 1973, Ross dedicated the rest of her life to advocacy for Native Americans, including making opportunities for the next generation of engineers from the community.
What’s my line?
Mary G. Ross died on 29th April 2008 when she was 99 years old.
When she died, Ross left a substantial donation to the The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.