Valerie Thomas – African American History Month 2018 #BlackHistoryMonth

Adafruit BHM2018 blog 7

NASA photo of data scientist Valerie L Thomas

Via Biography

Valerie Thomas is an African-American scientist and inventor best known for her patented illusion transmitter and contributions to NASA research.

Valerie Thomas was born in May 1943 in Maryland. Thomas’s interest in math and science were not encouraged until her college years. After graduating with a degree in chemistry, Thomas accepted a position at NASA. She remained there until her retirement in 1995. During that time, Thomas received a patent for an illusion transmitter and contributed broadly to the organization’s research efforts.

Early Life and Career

Valerie Thomas was born in May 1943 in Maryland. Fascinated by technology from a young age, Thomas was not encouraged to explore science. At the age of 8, she checked a book called The Boy’s First Book On Electronics out of the local library. Her father would not work on any of the projects with his daughter, despite his own interest in electronics.

Thomas attended a high school for girls that downplayed math and science.

After graduating from high school, Thomas finally got a chance to explore her interests as a student at Morgan State University. She was one of only two women at Morgan to major in physics. Thomas excelled in her studies. She graduated from Morgan and accepted a position as a data analyst at NASA.

Thomas grew to be a valued NASA employee. In the 1970s, she managed the development of the image-processing systems for Landsat, the first satellite to send images to the Earth from space.

Illusion Transmitter Patent

In 1980, Thomas received a patent for an illusion transmitter. The device produces optical illusion images via two concave mirrors. Unlike flat mirrors, which produce images that appear to be inside, or behind the mirror, concave mirrors create images that appear to be real, or in front of the mirror itself. This technology was subsequently adopted by NASA and has since been adapted for use in surgery as well as the production of television and video screens.

See more!

Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.

Join 7,500+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython in 2018 – Python on Microcontrollers is here!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

Maker Business — Electronics manufacturing is a burger of complexity

Wearables — Battery wash cycle

Electronics — How to make your own magnetic field probe!

Biohacking — The State of DNA Analysis in Three Mindmaps

Python for Microcontrollers — Getting Started with Adafruit Circuit Playground Express

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.