Hidden Figures

Aspen Film Aspen, CO


Dr. Nausheen Shah

Associate Professor of Physics at Wayne State University


Nausheen Shah, PhD

Associate Professor of Physics, Wayne State University

Hidden Figures— Women in the equation

Civil rights, space travel, “human computers” — March is Women’s History month, and what better way to celebrate women in the history of science than to watch Theodore Melfi’s Academy Award-nominated film, HIDDEN FIGURES? Learn about the challenges and opportunities for girls and women in STEM, then and now. Our short film for the evening is GIRLS WHO CODE, created by Aspen Film summer filmmaking camp participants.

Special guest Nausheen Shah, a visiting particle physicist lecturer at the Aspen Center for Physics, discusses cutting-edge research in physics

This event is part of our 2024 National Evening of Science on Screen.

Aspen Film Aspen, CO

Film Synopsis

A team of African American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program's first successful space missions.

As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, three brilliant African American women at NASA — Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) — became the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race, and captivated the world.

About the Speaker

Professor Nausheen Shah began her studies in theoretical particle physics at the University of Chicago working on extensions of the Standard Model, hypothesizing the existence of extra dimensions. As a Postdoctoral Fellow, Prof. Shah was heavily involved in studying the phenomena that may be observed at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN if there exists a fundamental symmetry in nature called Supersymmetery, concentrating on possible connection between Higgs physics and Dark Matter. As faculty at Wayne State University she continues to pursue these ideas.

Prof. Shah was the recipient of the GAANN (Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need) fellowship awarded by the Department of Education (2007) and the recipient of the Bloomenthal fellowship (2008) for excellence in research by the University of Chicago.

Aspen Center for Physics is a non-profit corporation founded in 1962 to enable distinguished international physicists to discuss the most topical and critical problems in modern physics. Each year, over 1,000 physicists from all over the world travel to Aspen to attend summer workshops and winter conferences at the Center. The Center offers free public lectures during both the summer and winter seasons, bringing cutting-edge research to the interested non-scientist. The Center is run by a volunteer board of up to 80 members and four staff members. Our mission is to advance the fundamental understanding of the universe.