When you were in college, did you take machine learning courses because you already knew you wanted to pursue a career at Johnson Space Center? Could you explain how you landed your first job there?
In 1963, I was hired by NASA as a mathematician. Over time, my job title changed to aerospace technologist and my duties required proficiency in various mathematical modules of scientific programming, as well as machine and Fortran languages for the IBM 7094 computer. At that time, input was done via key punch cards and output was stored on magnetic tape, which could then be printed on paper. As technology advanced, my career also evolved. In 1974, I was promoted to a manager position where I was responsible for developing the HAL/S compiler program. This program, which was developed and implemented in 1971, was used to verify the software design concepts and algorithms for the space shuttle, and should not be confused with the Houston Aerospace Language as portrayed in the movie.