Back in the 1970s, when the biggest computer had less than half a gigabyte of memory, Maureen Conroy was at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics writing programs to interpret data transmitted from astronomy satellites in space. “My first system handled “big data” generated 24/7 – satellites don’t sleep. It was a full-immersion, soup-to-nuts operation that required a cool head under pressure, good organizational skills, brainstorming, creative MacGyver-style fixes, strong teamwork, and lots of listening and learning.”
In the 1990s, she was the lead software designer for NASA’s most-powerful x-ray telescope, Chandra.
Now retired after a rich and fulfilling career, she encourages women in science to pursue areas that fire their imagination.