I'm a Computer Engineer. I work in the Computational Sciences Division of the Information Sciences and Technology Directorate at NASA/Ames Research Center. I perform system engineering tasks and develop software applications. I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to work on projects where I can learn about state-of-the-art technologies.
Currently I am working on a new project called ScienceDesk. Our project team is is developing a set of collaborative tools to support the day-to-day activities of distributed science teams. These activities include preparing data, conducting remote experiments, managing data and information resources, and tracking scientific progress. We're developing software prototypes for remote access and control of scientific instruments, a project respository for storage of documents, data, notes, and images, and a web-based interface for accessing these components.
One interesting project I worked on in the past, was the Wireless Network Experiment (WNE). It was performed on both the Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Russian Mir Space Station in March 1996 during the STS-76 mission. Using three computers, astronauts operated the first wirlesss local area network in space. The WNE was designed to evaluate electomagnetic compatibility, computer performance, wireless network performance and human factors issues. This experiment is part of a larger program to provide a reliable, flexible network infrastructure for the International Space Station (ISS) that will support astronauts in performing experiments and other tasks aboard the ISS.
I've always enjoyed math and science and I took four years of each in high school. Since I attended an all-girls' high school, no one ever suggested that this was a bad thing. Although I didn't know any engineers, nor did I have detailed knowledge of what they actually did, I did know they used science and math so I decided to study engineering in college. I received lots of encouragement from my mother and grandmother, who believed I should develop my interests and talents, and from many of my elementary and high school teachers.
I have a BS degree in Electrical Engineering. The math, science, and engineering classes I took were very difficult. After college, I was an Air Force officer for seven years and worked on the development and installation of satellite command and control systems. Just for fun, I completed classes in introductory biology and linear algebra. While in the Air Force, I developed an interest in Computer Science. When I left the Air Force, I went back to school in Computer Science and worked part-time at NASA/Ames Research Center as a consultant. I was hired by NASA as a computer engineer in 1994.
I spend most of my time outside of work with my husband taking care of my twin daughters, who were born in June 1994. I also like to read, especially history, biographies and science fiction. Working out, hiking, cooking, and jewelry making with beads are some other things I like to do.
I don't believe I've had to overcome any significant obstacles to reach my present position. Instead, I've been able to take advantage of several good opportunities. I really work at maintaining a "can-do", positive attitude. My maternal grandmother always says, "You can do anything you want once you put your mind to it."