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Christine Darden

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Information about Christine Darden

Profile image of Christine Darden

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Aerospace Engineer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Jambalaya, Vegetables, Greens, Salads
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Mountains
Favorite Quote:
All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.

Birthplace

Born:
9/10/1942
Birth Location:
Monroe, North Carolina

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Aerospace Engineer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Jambalaya, Vegetables, Greens, Salads
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Mountains
Favorite Quote:
All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.

Birthplace

Born:
9/10/1942
Birth Location:
Monroe
See how Christine Darden is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Aerospace engineer and mathematician Christine M. Darden was born on September 10, 1942 in Monroe, North Carolina. Darden was the youngest of five children born to Noah Horace Sr., an insurance agent, and Desma Chaney Mann, an elementary school teacher. Darden attended Winchester Avenue High School and then transferred to Allen High School, a Methodist boarding school (formerly the Allen School for Negro Girls), in Asheville, North Carolina. She graduated from Allen High School in 1958 as the class valedictorian and received a scholarship to attend Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. In 1962, Darden received her B.S. degree in mathematics education and her teaching certification from Hampton Institute. She went on to earn her M.S. degree in applied mathematics from Virginia State College in 1967, and her D.Sc. degree in mechanical engineering with a specialty in fluid mechanics from George Washington University in 1983.

From 1962 to 1963, Darden was a mathematics instructor at Russell High School in Lawrenceville, Virginia. She continued teaching at Norcom High School in Portsmouth from 1964 to 1965. After completing her M.S. degree program, Darden became a data analyst for NASA at its Langley Research Center. In 1973, Darden was promoted to the position of aerospace engineer; and, in 1989, she was appointed as the technical leader of NASA’s Sonic Boom Group of the Vehicle Integration Branch of the High Speed Research Program where she was responsible for developing the sonic boom research program internally at NASA. She also maintained partnerships with and led an advisory team composed of representatives from industrial manufacturers and academic institutions. In October of 1994, Darden became the deputy program manager of The TU-144 Experiments Program, an element of NASA’s High Speed Research Program; and, in 1999, she was appointed as the director in the Program Management Office of the Aerospace Performing Center at Langley Research Center where she was responsible for Langley research in air traffic management and other aeronautics programs managed at other NASA Centers. In addition, Darden served as technical consultant on numerous government and private projects, and she is the author of more than fifty publications in the field of high lift wing design in supersonic flow, flap design, sonic boom prediction, and sonic boom minimization.

Darden received the Dr. A. T. Weathers Technical Achievement Award from the National Technical Association in 1985. She was awarded the Senior Executive Career Development Fellowship from Simmons College in 1994. NASA recognized Darden with the Certificate of Outstanding Performance ten times between 1973 and 2003. Not only has Darden received the NASA medals for equal opportunity and for achievement in leading the sonic boom program, she is also the recipient of the 1987 Candace Award for Science and Technology from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and the 1988 Black Engineer of the Year Award from the publishers of U.S. Black Engineer & Technology magazine.

Aerospace engineer and mathematician Christine M. Darden was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 26, 2013.

See how Christine Darden is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Christine Darden's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Christine Darden lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Christine Darden talks about her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Christine Darden talks about her mother's growing up and her education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Christine Darden describes her father's family background - part one
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Christine Darden describes her father's family background - part two
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Christine Darden talks about her parents attending Knoxville Academy and Knoxville College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Christine Darden talks about her parents' employment as teachers in Georgia in the 1930s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Christine Darden talks her parents dating in Knoxville College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Christine Darden talks about her family's life near Charlotte, North Carolina in the 1930s and 1940s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Christine Darden describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Christine Darden talks about her siblings and their families, and her mother finding her runaway brother in 1947
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Christine Darden talks about her family reunions
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Christine Darden talks about her childhood household and the house where she grew up in Monroe, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Christine Darden talks about her parents building a new home in Monroe, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Christine Darden talks about growing up during segregation in Monroe, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Christine Darden talks about starting the second grade at the age of five
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Christine Darden talks about her family's emphasis on the importance of education and her interests as a child
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Christine Darden describes her experience in school in Monroe, North Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Christine Darden talks about attending Allen High School in Asheville, North Carolina, her interest in mathematics, and her math teacher, Ruth Walther
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Christine Darden describes her experience in boarding school at Allen High School in Asheville, North Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Christine Darden describes her decision to attend Hampton University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Christine Darden describes her experience at Hampton University, and her interest in the physical sciences
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Christine Darden talks about her education at Hampton University - part one
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Christine Darden talks about her education at Hampton University - part two
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Christine Darden talks about graduating from Hampton University, and her first job
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Christine Darden talks about meeting her husband, Walter Darden, and taking math classes at Virginia State College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Christine Darden talks about starting studies for her master's degree in aerosol physics and taking math courses at Virginia State College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Christine Darden describes her master's thesis on calculating light scattering, and her early experience using computers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Christine Darden describes her experience at Virginia State College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Christine Darden talks about being recruited to work at NASA's Langley Research Center in 1967
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Christine Darden describes her relationship with HistoryMaker Katherine Johnson
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Christine Darden talks about NASA's "West Computers," and segregation at NASA in the 1960s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Christine Darden describes her early experience at NASA's Langley Research Center in the 1960s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Christine Darden talks about how she got her first promotion at NASA's Langley Research Center, and her early work on the sonic boom problem
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Christine Darden describes the sonic boom problem - part one
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Christine Darden describes the sonic boom problem - part two
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Christine Darden talks about the Tu-144 supersonic airliners
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Christine Darden talks about the Concorde supersonic airliners
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Christine Darden describes her work on the sonic boom problem - part one
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Christine Darden describes her work on the sonic boom problem - part two
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Christine Darden talks about the collaborative nature of the work on the sonic boom problem
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Christine Darden describes her Ph.D. dissertation at George Washington University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Christine Darden talks about well known mathematicians who worked on the sonic boom problem
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Christine Darden talks about her colleagues at NASA's Langley Research Center
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Christine Darden describes her service and leadership roles at NASA's Langley Research Center
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Christine Darden describes her leadership in the Presbyterian Church, and how it applied to her career at NASA's Langley Research Center
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Christine Darden talks about becoming the director of strategic communications and education at NASA's Langley Research Center
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Christine Darden shares her perspectives on NASA and the problems with funding
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Christine Darden reflects upon her life and career as well as the politics of science
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Christine Darden describes her concerns for the African American community and for the current American educational system
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Christine Darden talks about her family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Christine Darden talks about how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Christine Darden describes her photographs