News of the first image of a blackhole has been sweeping every site recently, and honestly it’s a massive achievement in the science community. One thing that every article has been suspiciously avoiding is the brilliant mind behind it – Katie Bouman.
The 29 year old computer scientist was behind the algorimth that allowed the first image of a black hole to exist. She essentially led the the development of the computer program and started working on it three years ago as a graduate of MIT.
The algorithm, CHIRP (Continuous High-resolution Image Reconstruction) uses Patch Priors which works to essentially fill in gaps that are left by images taken across eight telescopes around the world.
She wrote about her reaction to this image in a Facebook post – “Watching in disbelief as the first image I ever made of a black hole was in the process of being reconstructed”.
Milestone achievements are fantastic, but it’s always important to remember the people behind it, and Bouman herself had a strong team behind her to help with this image.
She said :“No one algorithm or person made this image, it required the amazing talent of a team of scientists from around the globe and years of hard work to develop the instrument, data processing, imaging methods, and analysis techniques that were necessary to pull off this seemingly impossible feat”.