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Dr. Floyd F. Koch Honors College Speaker Series 2018-19

Patterns in Our World: ‘Hidden Figure’ shares her story in NASA’s history

Dr. Darden’s journey from high school mathematics teacher to becoming one of NASA’s “human computers” featured in the book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. 


Dr. Christine Mann Darden

Retired NASA executive and aerospace engineer
International expert on sonic boom
Featured in “Hidden Figures” book

 About the Speaker

Dr. Christine Mann Darden, a “hidden figure” who was featured in Margot Lee Shetterly’s 2016 book, retired from NASA Langley Research Center in 2007 after 40 years of service. As a member of NASA’s Senior Executive Service, her final assignment at Langley was as director of the Office of Strategic Communications and Education (OSCE). Darden also previously served as director of the Aero Performing Center Program Management Office (APCPMO), as a senior program manager in NASA's High-Speed Research (HSR) Program Office, and for nearly 30 years as an internationally known researcher in high-speed aerodynamics and sonic boom minimization research. Prior to her NASA career, she taught high school mathematics.

Darden is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and a past secretary of its Aeroacoustics Technical Committee. She has also held membership in several honor or technical societies.

During her NASA career, Darden authored over 57 technical papers and articles, primarily in the areas of sonic boom prediction, sonic boom minimization, and supersonic wing design. She is recognized as an international expert in these areas.

Darden has been recognized with dozens of awards and honors—including two NASA Medals, the Black Engineer of the Year Outstanding Achievement in Government Award and the Women in Science & Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also received honorary doctorates from Old Dominion University, Muskingum University (John Glenn’s alma mater), and North Carolina State University.

Christine Mann Darden is a native of Monroe, N.C. and a graduate of Allen High School in Asheville, N.C. She has a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Hampton University in Hampton, Va., a Master of Science in applied mathematics from Virginia State University in Petersburg, and a Doctor of Science in mechanical engineering from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Darden also holds a Certificate of Advanced Study in Management from Simmons University Graduate School of Management in Boston.

Darden and her husband of 55 years, Walter, have three daughters, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.


Thursday, April 25, 2019

11 am  |  Doors open at 10:30 am

Palm Beach State College

Palm Beach Gardens campus
Eissey Campus Theatre
11051 Campus Drive
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
Campus Map

Free and open to the public
RSVP Requested

For more information:
Call: 561-868-3472


 About the Series

The Honors College Speaker Series aims to bring noteworthy speakers to PBSC campuses for the benefit of all students, faculty and staff, and the community at large.

We hope to provide, particularly for students, an array of unique perspectives and inspiring ideas.

Please join us, bring your friends and colleagues, and become part of a new Honors College tradition.


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