Monday, March 19, 2018

Dr. Gladys West: One Of The ‘Hidden Figures’ Behind The Global Positioning System (GPS) Talks To ‘Auto Trends’ Friday, March 23

Lt. Governor of  Virginia, Justin Fairfax, and Dr. Gladys West reconnect, after being honored by the state of Virginia for her contributions to the GPS. (Photo Credit: Free Lance Star)

In this day and time, where self-promotion is the name of the game, social media outlets and reality TV shows provide the perfect platform for those, with and without talent, yearning to be discovered.

However, every blue moon those not obsessed in living in this selfie generation manages to surface above the noise, even when they are not seeking attention. After years of quietly enjoying retirement, the world is just now discovering one of the latest ‘Hidden Figures.’

Since the late 50s, this ‘Black girl’ has been coding, well before the phrase was coined. Dr. Gladys West was one of the first Black women to be hired at the Dahlgreen Naval Support Facility in Virginia. This mathematician played a key role in developing the GPS (Global Positioning System). In fact, she was responsible for checking the accuracy of the system.

Unbeknownst to her, this brilliant lady did not realize, while working on science that measures the size and shape of the earth and the measurement of satellite data, the impact it would have beyond the military base she and her husband worked and resided.

Dr. West is standing next to her husband and family as she was being honored by the Lt. Governor of Virginia on March 1, 2018. (Photo Credit: Free Lance Star)

In her own voice, the wife, the mother, the grandmother and the living history maker shares how at a young age, while growing up in rural Virginia, it did not take long to envision a career beyond being a farm hand to the medical condition that pushed her to complete her PhD to the first time she was in a vehicle with a built-in navigation system. Ironically, in an interesting twist, the humble and kind spirit reveals how she prepares for unfamiliar road trips. Her road trip ritual will bring a smile to your face.

Because of Dr. West’s work with the satellite system, the world reaps the benefits of never being lost again, as a result of the GPS being embedded in our smartphones and our different modes of transportation.

To Tune In

To hear the master teacher engaging and insightful conversation, tune in to Auto Trends with,” on Friday, March 23 at 12:00 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Channel 141. Encore broadcasts can be heard on Monday, March 26 and Wednesday, March 28 at 1:30 p.m. ET and 6:00 p.m. ET, respectively. Cruise over to SiriusXM to find out more about free trials and how to listen.

To read more about about how the state of Virginia recently honored Dr. Gladys West, their proud daughter, click here.