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Google Doodle celebrates Mary G. Ross' 110th Birthday

Google Doodle today is celebrating the 110th birthday of Mary G. Ross, the first American Indian female engineer.


Devdiscourse News Desk 09 Aug 2018, 06:25 AM United States
  • These included flyby missions to Venus and Mars and Agena rocket satellites. (Image Credit: Google)

Google Doodle today celebrating the 110th birthday of Mary G. Ross, the first American Indian female engineer, was born in the small town of Park Hill, Oklahoma. She was one of the 40 founding engineers of the skunkworks.

One of the forty founding engineers of Skunkworks, she was known for her work on "preliminary design concepts for interplanetary space travel unmanned and manned earth orbiting flights.

Ross was born on August 9 in 1917 in the small town of Park Hill Oklahoma. The Great-great granddaughter to Chief John Ross of the Cherokee Nation, she was a gifted child.

At the age of sixteen, she enrolled in Northeastern State Teachers' College in Tahlequah. She graduated in Maths and taught for nine years in Oklahoma. 

To further enhance her knowledge, she post-graduated from the University of Northern for her love for astronomy and rocket science.

Lockheed Aircraft Corporation hired her as the mathematician during the Second World War. It was during this time that she got encouraged to get the professional certification in aeronautical engineering from UCLA in the year 1949.

During her work with the top-secret Skunk Works team, she was responsible for developing initial design concepts for interplanetary space travel. These included flyby missions to Venus and Mars and Agena rocket satellites.

About her work, she said: "Often at night there were four of us working until 11 p.m.," she later recounted. "I was the pencil pusher, doing a lot of research. My state of the art tools was a slide rule and a Frieden computer. We were taking the theoretical and making it real."

Society of Women Engineers also began a scholarship in Ross's name. The scholarship aims to support future female engineers and technologists. Aditi Jain, Google Maps engineer says: "More than money, it gave me confidence,"  Aditi Jain earned a degree in Math and Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. “I don’t think I considered myself an engineer until I received the scholarship."


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