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Perceive, plan, prepare, persist: At PVCC, ‘Hidden Figures’ scientist offers advice
The Daily Progress Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 10 p.m.

The secret to getting a career at NASA, according to retired mathematician, data analyst and aeronautical engineer Christine Darden, is to follow her secret “P^4 formula.”

The ability to perceive, to plan, to prepare and to persist, Darden said in a talk at Piedmont Virginia Community College on Wednesday, is what took her from high school geometry class in a segregated high school to one of the celebrated “human computers” and engineers featured in the 2016 book “Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race,” which was made into a movie the same year.

Darden joined NASA in 1967 as a data analyst at Langley Research Center in Hampton, about a decade after Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson.

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