By now you’ve probably seen this amazing photo of a black hole in space.
You’ve probably also seen this picture making the rounds. This is Katie Bouman. She's a 29-year-old post-doctoral fellow at MIT, and she’s getting credit for making that black hole image possible.
Bouman is making headlines because she developed a crucial algorithm that helped scientists capture that photo of a black hole in space, which was virtually impossible.
Three years ago, when she was a computer science and artificial intelligence graduate student at MIT, she was part of a team of 200 researchers that worked on the creation of an algorithm that provided the imaging code to capture the black hole.
Katie’s algorithm helped fill in gaps that needed to be filled after a global network of telescopes collected tons of data. Her algorithm helped “piece together the picture.”
Needless to say, she was a crucial part of the imaging team and posted an update on her Facebook profile highlighting the accomplishment.
Vincent Fish, a research scientist at MIT's Haystack Observatory, said senior scientists worked on the project, but the imaging portion was mostly led by junior researchers, like Katie. Here she is with stacks of hard drives containing the imaging data.
While she's already accomplished so much, she's nowhere near done. She starts teaching as an assistant professor at the California Institute of Technology in the fall.