Founder of Black Girls CODE
In 2011, Kimberly Bryan founded Black Girls CODE, a non-profit organization that introduces girls of color to the worlds of computer science and technology. Bryant has received lots of recognition for helping expose more people of color to careers in tech, and innovation and was named a “Champion for Change” by the White House in 2013.
Co-creator of the IBM personal computer
In 1981 Dr. Mark Dean helped create the first IBM personal computer (PC), which changed the way the public viewed computers forever. He is also the first African-American to become an IBM Fellow and is credited with helping to invent the one-gigahertz computer processor chip and the color PC monitor to just name a few.
In 1969, Clarence ‘Skip’ Ellis became the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science degree in the United States from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He invented the icon! He went on to teach at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Stanford University, and Ashesi University in Ghana.
After joining Hewlett-Packard in the early 1960s, Roy Clay Sr. became a founding member of the company’s computer division. He went on to lead the team that invented the 2116A mini-computer.
Physicist and Mathematician
In the 1950s Katherine Johnson began her career at NASA, working as a ‘human computer.’ Her ability to figure out complicated mathematical calculations not only led to the success of countless space missions but helped launch the Space Shuttle program. President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015 for her work. Actress Taraji P. Henson portrayed her in the 2016 film, Hidden Figures.
Upon graduating from Yale University in 1949, Evelyn Boyd Granville became the second African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics in the United States. She went on to work for the U.S. Space Technology Laboratories, with a focus on the Apollo space programs, before becoming a professor of mathematics.
Dr. Shirley Jackson is not only the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate from MIT, but she is also the first African-American woman to lead a top-ranked research university: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 2014, she was appointed by President Barack Obama as Co-Chair of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board.
Obsessed with video games? Then you should definitely thank Jerry Lawson, the “Father of Modern Gaming.” An electronic engineer he helped design the Fairchild Channel F console and the first video game cartridge.