Female Grad Student Goes Viral for Creating Algorithm That Made Black Hole Pic Possible

April 11, 2019

dottedhippo iStock / Getty Images Plus

A 29-year-old female graduate student is going viral for her crucial role in making this week's first-ever images of a black hole possible. "Watching in disbelief as the first image I ever made of a black hole was in the process of being reconstructed," Katie Bouman wrote Wednesday on Facebook alongside a now-viral pic that shows her looking shocked as the black hole image appeared on her computer. CNN notes that Bouman "developed a crucial algorithm that helped devise imaging methods" which led to the black hole image, which the outlet compared to "trying to take a photo of an orange that's on the moon with your smartphone." While social media users are heaping praise on Bouman and the importance of women in stem, she tells CNN, "No one of us could've done it alone. It came together because of lots of different people from many backgrounds." Bouman, who created the algorithm while at MIT, will start a new job as an assistant professor at California Institute of Technology in the fall.