Dr. Deborah W. Brown & Katherine Johnson of NASA among 13 tech luminaries we lost in 2020... Developers, translators, and human calculators, these 13 men and women made the world a better place through IT.

 Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Deborah Washington Brown: Finding Her Voice

Dr. Deborah W. Brown, Computer Scientist

Music has many intriguing mathematical properties — so when Deborah Washington Brown was dissuaded from pursuing a career as a pianist, she found it a logical shift to study math.

Brown was the first Black woman to earn a PhD in computer science from Harvard’s applied mathematics program in 1981. Her ensuing career focused on speech recognition, with roles as a speech technology specialist and scientist at such companies as AT&T Bell Laboratories and Verizon. Her research and development produced eleven patents, including one for routing calls based on spoken prompts and another for identifying and narrowing options based on verbal input.

Dr. Katherine Johnson
Brown never lost sight of her first love, often performing as a classical pianist. She also served as a role model for other marginalized voices. “I didn’t even realize until I was in college that there was any type of gender or race gap in STEM… I never had to second guess myself or my abilities, because of the example she set for me,” said her daughter, Laurel, also a Harvard graduate.

Brown died of cancer at 68. more  Wikipedia link

No comments:

Post a Comment