A Computer Scientist is behind the world's first image of a black hole

18 Apr 2019 - Victoria S Williams (Image credit: EHT Collaboration)

There's recently been an exciting development in our understanding of the universe — scientists have created the first ever image of a black hole!

Although a team of hundreds of people were involved in the project, named the Event Horizon Telescope, one woman stood out: a Computer Scientist named Katie Bouman.

Ground-breaking discovery

The image of the black hole is not a photograph. Instead, it was generated using a computer program that compiled data collected by telescopes.

A ring of fire against black space. Credit EHT Collaboration. Study Computer Science with Kaplan.

Image credit: EHT Collaboration

Bouman was responsible for developing the technology that inspired the program. What's more, she did this while she was still studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)!

She also had a significant role in the Event Horizon Telescope project, comparing and verifying the images. That's why she is being named as one of the most important people behind the world-famous image.

Scientist Katie Bouman looks at the first image of a black hole on a computer

Image credit: Facebook/Katie Bouman

Although scientists have long believed black holes exist, this is the first time they have found proof. Academics now hope we can learn more about how gravity works and finally prove Albert Einstein's famous theory of relativity. In short, this is a truly ground-breaking discovery!

It has even helped Bouman get a new job. This year, she will become an Assistant Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at the California Institute of Technology.

Your path to a Computer Science degree

Katie Bouman's success goes to show how far a degree in Computer Science can take you! If you would like to study Computer Science at a top UK or US university, Kaplan can help.

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If you’d like to know more, explore the links below. Alternatively, you can find Computer Science degrees in the USA or UK by using our handy degree finder.

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