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At first she worked in a pool of women performing math calculations. Katherine has referred to the women in the pool as virtual `computers who wore skirts.’ Their main job was to read the data from the black boxes of planes and carry out other precise mathematical tasks. Then one day, Katherine (and a colleague) were temporarily assigned to help the all-male flight research team. Katherine’s knowledge of analytic geometry helped make quick allies of male bosses and colleagues to the extent that,’they forgot to return her to the pool.’ While the racial and gender barriers were always there, she ignored them. She was assertive, asking to be included in editorial meetings (where no women had gone before.) She simply told people she had done the work and that she belonged.