Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson is an African-American physicist and mathematician who made contributions to the United States' aeronautics and space programs with the early application of digital electronic computers at NASA. Known for accuracy in computerized celestial navigation, she conducted technical work at NASA that spanned decades. During this time, she calculated the trajectories, launch windows, and emergency back-up return paths for many flights from Project Mercury, including the early NASA missions of John Glenn and Alan Shepard, and the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon, through the Space Shuttle program. Her calculations were critical to the success of these missions. Johnson also performed calculations for the plans for a mission to Mars
Elbakyan was born in Almaty, Kazakhstan on 6 November, 1988. She is of Armenian, Slavic and Asian descent. Elbakyan undertook university studies in Astana, where she developed skills in computer security. She began Sci-Hub in 2011, characterised by Science as 'an awe-inspiring act of altruism or a massive criminal enterprise, depending on whom you ask'. Following a lawsuit brought in the US by the publisher Elsevier, Elbakyan is presently in hiding due to the risk of extradition. According to a 2016 interview, her neuroscience research is on hold, but she has enrolled in a history of science master’s program at a “small private university” in an undisclosed location. Her thesis focuses on scientific communication.
Tomás Rivera was a Chicano author, poet, and educator. He was born in Texas to migrant farm workers, and worked in the fields as a young boy. However, he achieved social mobility through education—earning a degree at Southwest Texas State University (now known as Texas State University), and later a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) at the University of Oklahoma—and came to believe strongly in the virtues of education for Mexican-Americans.
As an author, Rivera is best remembered for his 1971 Faulknerian stream-of-consciousness novella ...y no se lo tragó la tierra, translated into English variously as This Migrant Earth and as ...and the Earth Did Not Devour Him. This book won the first Premio Quinto Sol award.
Rivera taught in high schools throughout the Southwest US, and later at Sam Houston State University and the University of Texas at El Paso. From 1979 until his death in 1984, he was the chancellor of the University of California, Riverside, the first Mexican-American to hold such a position at the University of California.
Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton and took the oath of office on August 10, 1993. Before becoming a judge, Ginsburg spent a considerable portion of her legal career as an advocate for the advancement of women's rights as a constitutional principle. She advocated as a volunteer lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union and was a member of its board of directors and one of its general counsel in the 1970s.
Oliver Wolf Sacks was a British neurologist, naturalist and author. He believed that the brain is the "most incredible thing in the universe" and therefore important to study. Sacks was the author of numerous best-selling books, mostly collections of case studies of people with neurological disorders. His writings have been featured in a wide range of media; the New York Times called him a "poet laureate of contemporary medicine", and "one of the great clinical writers of the 20th century". His books include a wealth of narrative detail about his experiences with patients, and how they coped with their conditions, often illuminating how the normal brain deals with perception, memory and individuality.
Annelies Marie Frank was a German-born diarist and writer. She is one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Her diary, The Diary of a Young Girl, which documents her life in hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II, is one of the world's most widely known books and has been the basis for several plays and films.
The Frank family moved from Germany to Amsterdam in the early 1930s when the Nazis gained control over Germany. As persecutions of the Jewish population increased during WWII, the family went into hiding in some concealed rooms behind a bookcase in the building where Anne's father worked.
Moon Duchin is an American mathematician who works as an associate professor at Tufts University. Her mathematical research concerns geometric topology, geometric group theory, and Teichmüller theory. For example, one of her results is that, for a broad class of locally flat surfaces, the geometry of the surface is entirely determined by the shortest length in each homotopy class of simple closed curves. She is also interested in the history of science, and is one of the core faculty members of Tufts's Science, Technology, and Society program.
Duchin went to Harvard University as an undergraduate, where she was active in queer organizing and finished a double major in mathematics and women's studies in 1998. As a graduate student in mathematics at the University of Chicago, she continued her feminist activism by teaching gender studies and pushing the university to add gender-neutral bathrooms.
Aaron Hillel Swartz was an American computer programmer, entrepreneur, writer, political organizer, and Internet hacktivist. Swartz's work focused on civic awareness and activism. He helped launch the Progressive Change Campaign Committee in 2009 to learn more about effective online activism. In 2010, he became a research fellow at Harvard University's Safra Research Lab on Institutional Corruption, directed by Lawrence Lessig. He founded the online group Demand Progress, known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act.
On January 6, 2011, Swartz was arrested by MIT police on state breaking-and-entering charges, after connecting a computer to the MIT network in an unmarked and unlocked closet, and setting it to download academic journal articles systematically from JSTOR using a guest user account issued to him by MIT. Federal prosecutors later charged him with two counts of wire fraud and eleven violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, carrying a cumulative maximum penalty of $1 million in fines, 35 years in prison, asset forfeiture, restitution, and supervised release.
He committed suicide while under federal indictment for his alleged computer crimes. Swartz declined a plea bargain under which he would have served six months in federal prison. Two days after the prosecution rejected a counter-offer by Swartz, he was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment, where he had hanged himself.
In June 2013, Swartz was inducted posthumously into the Internet Hall of Fame.
Edwin Parker "Cy" Twombly, Jr. (April 25, 1928 – July 5, 2011) was an American painter, sculptor and photographer. He belonged to the generation of Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns but made the specific choice to live in Europe (Italy) after 1957.
His paintings of large-scale, freely scribbled, calligraphic and graffiti-like works on solid fields of mostly gray, tan, or off-white colors are in the permanent collections of most of the museums of modern art around the world, including the Menil Collection in Houston, the Tate Modern in London or the New York's Museum of Modern Art.
Eleanor Roosevelt was an American politician, diplomat, and activist. She was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, having held the post from March 1933 to April 1945 during her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt's four terms in office, and served as United States Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 1945 to 1952. President Harry S. Truman later called her the "First Lady of the World" in tribute to her human rights achievements.
Though widely respected in her later years, Roosevelt was a controversial First Lady at the time for her outspokenness, particularly her stance on racial issues. She was the first presidential spouse to hold regular press conferences, write a daily newspaper column, write a monthly magazine column, host a weekly radio show, and speak at a national party convention. On a few occasions, she publicly disagreed with her husband's policies. She advocated for expanded roles for women in the workplace, the civil rights of African Americans and Asian Americans, and the rights of World War II refugees.
John Milton Cage Jr. was an American composer, music theorist, writer, and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde. Critics have lauded him as one of the most influential American composers of the 20th century.
Cage is perhaps best known for his 1952 composition 4′33″, which is performed in the absence of deliberate sound; musicians who present the work do nothing aside from being present for the duration specified by the title. The content of the composition is not "four minutes and 33 seconds of silence," as is often assumed, but rather the sounds of the environment heard by the audience during performance. The work's challenge to assumed definitions about musicianship and musical experience made it a popular and controversial topic both in musicology and the broader aesthetics of art and performance.
William Boyd Watterson is an American cartoonist and the author of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, which was syndicated from 1985 to 1995. Watterson spent much of his career trying to change the climate of newspaper comics. He believed that the artistic value of comics was being undermined, and that the space which they occupied in newspapers continually decreased, subject to arbitrary whims of shortsighted publishers. Furthermore, he opined that art should not be judged by the medium for which it is created (i.e., there is no "high" art or "low" art—just art). Watterson has said that he works for personal fulfillment. As he told the graduating class of 1990 at Kenyon College, "It's surprising how hard we'll work when the work is done just for ourselves."
Sun Ra was an American jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, poet and philosopher known for his experimental music, "cosmic" philosophy, prolific output, and theatrical performances. For much of his career, Ra led "The Arkestra", an ensemble with an ever-changing name and flexible line-up.
His widely eclectic and avant-garde music would eventually touch on virtually the entire history of jazz, ranging from swing music and bebop to free jazz and fusion, and his compositions ranged from keyboard solos to big bands of over 30 musicians. His performances often included dancers and musicians dressed in elaborate, futuristic costumes inspired by ancient Egyptian attire and the space age.
Mako Iwamatsu was a Japanese American actor and voice artist who was nominated for numerous awards. Many of his acting roles credited him simply as Mako where he omitted his surname. He is best known for his roles as Po-Han in The Sand Pebbles, Akiro the Wizard in Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer, and for his voice roles as Aku in Samurai Jack and Iroh in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Mako died in Somis, California on July 21, 2006, aged 72, from esophageal cancer. One day before his death, Mako had been confirmed to star in the film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as the voice of Splinter. The finished film was dedicated to Mako.
Carl Edward Sagan was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences. His best known scientific contributions is research on extraterrestrial life. Sagan assembled the first physical messages sent into space: the Pioneer plaque and the Voyager Golden Record, universal messages that could potentially be understood by any extraterrestrial intelligence that might find them.
Sagan always advocated scientific skeptical inquiry and the scientific method. He pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI). He spent most of his career as a professor of astronomy at Cornell University, where he directed the Laboratory for Planetary Studies.
Harold James McGee is an American author who writes about the chemistry and history of food science and cooking. He is best known for his seminal book On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen initially published in 1984 and revised in 2004.
The book provides a reference to the scientific understanding and preparation of food. It has been described by Alton Brown as "the Rosetta stone of the culinary world", Daniel Boulud has called the book a "must for every cook who possesses an inquiring mind", while Heston Blumenthal has stated it is "the book that has had the greatest single impact on my cooking".
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the preeminent leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahatma (Sanskrit: "high-souled", "venerable")—applied to him first in 1914 in South Africa,—is now used worldwide. His birthday is commemorated as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and world-wide as the International Day of Nonviolence.
Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and was active in 133 countries. They run hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; dispensaries and mobile clinics; children's and family counselling programmes; orphanages; and schools. Members must adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, as well as a fourth vow, to give "wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor".
Wikipedia was launched on January 15, 2001 and consists of more than 38 million articles in more than 250 different languages and as of February 2014, it had 18 billion page views and nearly 500 million unique visitors each month.
Demián Bichir Nájera began his acting career starring in many Mexican telenovelas and films before achieving fame for roles in Mexican films, such as the record-breaking Sexo, pudor y lágrimas and Sin noticias de Dios. In the U.S., he played Detective Marco Ruiz in the FX drama television series, The Bridge. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for A Better Life (2011). Bichir is an ACLU Ambassador for Immigration Rights.
Edward Joseph Snowden is an American computer professional, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee, and former contractor for the United States government who copied and leaked classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 without prior authorization. His disclosures revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA and the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments and have fueled debates over mass surveillance, government secrecy, and the balance between national securityand information privacy.
Ernesto "Che" Guevara was a Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia in popular culture.
Guevara remains both a revered and reviled historical figure, polarized in the collective imagination in a multitude of biographies, memoirs, essays, documentaries, songs, and films. As a result of his perceived martyrdom, poetic invocations for class struggle, and desire to create the consciousness of a "new man" driven by moral rather than material incentives, he has evolved into a quintessential icon of various leftist-inspired movements. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, while an Alberto Korda photograph of him, titled Guerrillero Heroico, was cited by the Maryland Institute College of Art as "the most famous photograph in the world."
Egon Schiele was a major figurative painter of the early 20th century. His work is noted for its intensity and its raw sexuality, and the many self-portraits the artist produced, including naked self-portraits. The twisted body shapes and the expressive line that characterize Schiele's paintings and drawings mark the artist as an early exponent of Expressionism.
Schiele's self-portraits helped establish a unique level of emotional and sexual honesty and use of figural distortion in place of conventional ideals of beauty. Egon Schiele’s Kneeling Nude with Raised Hands (1910) is considerably the most significant nude art piece made during the 20th century. Schiele’s radical and developed approach towards the naked human form challenged both scholars and progressives alike. This unconventional piece and style went against strict academia and elevated a sexual uproar with its contorted lines and heavy display of figurative expression.
Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer, and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures, 532 of which were completed. Wright believed in designing structures that were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. This philosophy was best exemplified by Fallingwater (1935), which has been called "the best all-time work of American architecture". Wright was a leader of the Prairie School movement of architecture and developed the concept of the Usonian home, his unique vision for urban planning in the United States. His creative period spanned more than 70 years.
Franz Kline (May 23, 1910 – May 13, 1962) is primarily associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement of the 1940s and 1950s. Kline, along with other action painters like Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell and Lee Krasner, as well as local poets, dancers, and musicians came to be known as the informal group, the New York School. Although he explored the same innovations to painting as the other artists in this group, Kline's work is distinct in itself and has been revered since the 1950s.
Ellen Lauri Ochoa (born May 10, 1958) is an engineer, former astronaut, and current Director of the Johnson Space Center. On December 31, 2012, Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman in the world to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in 1993.
Walter Harry Pitts, Jr. (born April 23, 1923) was a logician who worked in the field of computational neuroscience. He proposed landmark theoretical formulations of neural activity and generative processes that influenced diverse fields such as cognitive sciences and psychology, philosophy, neurosciences, computer science, artificial neural networks, cybernetics and artificial intelligence, together with what has come to be known as the generative sciences. He is best remembered for having written along with Warren McCulloch, a seminal paper entitled "A Logical Calculus of Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity" (1943). This paper proposed the first mathematical model of a neural network. The unit of this model, a simple formalized neuron, is still the standard of reference in the field of neural networks.
The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, commonly known as the June Fourth Incident (六四事件) or '89 Democracy Movement (八九民运) in Chinese were student-led popular demonstrations in Beijing which took place in the first half of 1989 and received broad support from city residents, exposing deep splits within China's political leadership. On April 21 in Beijing, around 100,000 students gathered in Tiananmen Square to commemorate Chinese reform leader Hu Yaobang.
Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was an American singer, songwriter, spokesperson, actress, and fashion designer. Called the Queen of Tejano music, her contributions to music and fashion made her one of the most celebrated Mexican-American entertainers of the late 20th century. Billboard magazine named her the "top Latin artist of the '90s", the "best selling Latin artist of the decade". She also ranks among the most influential Latin artists of all-time and is credited for catapulting a music genre into the mainstream market.