Katie Bouman is the 29-year-old scientist behind first image of black hole


Katie Bouman reacted modestly to her sudden celebrity status this week, but the scientist whose graduate school work helped lead to the first image of a black hole Wednesday, is getting her due.

Bouman, who is an assistant professor of computing and mathematical sciences at Cal Tech, created an algorithm during grad school at MIT that made the image possible.

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The 29-year-old worked with MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the MIT Haystack Observatory and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics for the last several years, leading the development of the algorithm.

“3 years ago MIT grad student Katie Bouman led the creation of a new algorithm to produce the first-ever image of a black hole,” MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab tweeted Wednesday. “Today, that image was released.”

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In another tweet, the lab added, “Scientist Katie Bouman just posted about the moment when ‘the first image I ever made of a black hole’ was processed. Just to clarify, this was the first image *ANYONE EVER MADE* of a black hole.”

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