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West Side grad behind first-ever picture of black hole gives Purdue behind-the-scenes look

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West Side grad behind first-ever picture of black hole gives Purdue behind-the-scenes look
WEST LAFAYETTE – Ever wondered how to take a picture of a black hole?
As it turns out, if we were to build a single telescope that could start to make out the image of M87, the recently captured black hole, that one telescope would have to be approximately the size of Earth.
So scientists from around the world, including Katie Bouman, a West Lafayette High School graduate and part of the team who captured the first-ever image of a black hole in 2019, set out with the job to combine data from existing telescopes from around the world to come up with the image.

West Lafayette grad who took first picture of black hole speaking at Purdue

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WEST LAFAYETTE – A West Lafayette graduate and leading member of a team that took the first-ever picture of a black hole will return in March to speak at Purdue.
Katie Bouman will visit Purdue’s Honors College March 3 to give a presentation during the third annual Aronson Family Science and Society Honors Lecture. A 2007 West Lafayette High School graduate, Bouman was credited with coming up with the algorithm that cleared the way for the Event Horizon Telescope to take a photo of a black hole in 2019 that is 55 million light years away and has a mass of 6.5 billion times that of the sun.

Dr. Katie Bouman to present 'Portrait of a Black Hole'

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In March, Katie Bouman will be visiting the Purdue Honors College for the third annual Aronson Family Science and Society Honors Lecture, according to a Purdue News Service release.
“Dr. Bouman’s work is emblematic of the kind of interdisciplinary collaboration that leads to thriving innovation and the approach to learning we offer in the Honors College,” said Rhonda Phillips, dean of the Honors College, per the release. “We’re thrilled to host her visit to campus, and look forward to the insights she will bring to campus and the community.”
Originally from West Lafayette, Bouman is best known for her work with the Event Horizon Telescope as a postdoctoral fellow. In April 2019, the EHT was the first to publish a picture of a black hole, and Bouman gained internet fame after a photo of her reacting to the discovery went viral. Bouman is a Rosenberg Scholar and currently works as an assistant professor of computing and mathematical sciences and electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology.

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