This image released by Event Horizon Telescope shows a black hole. Photo / AP
This image released by Event Horizon Telescope shows a black hole. Photo / AP

Her name is Katie Bouman.

She is a 29-year-old Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate in computer science.

Katie Bouman. Photo / Twitter, MIT
Katie Bouman. Photo / Twitter, MIT

She is behind the creation three years ago of a new algorithm to produce the first-ever image of a black hole.

An international team of more than 200 researchers were involved in the process of unveilling the breakthrough. Her algorithm pieces together data from various telescopes.

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Bouman's algorithm helped devise imaging methods to capture a black hole and its shadow in a galaxy known as M87.

CNN reports that using imaging algorithms like Bouman's, "researchers created three scripted code pipelines to piece together the picture".

Bouman directed the verification process. Later this year she will become an assistant professor at California Institute of Technology.

She posted on Facebook a picture of herself with the black hole image on her computer. She wrote: "Watching in disbelief as the first image I ever made of a black hole was in the process of being reconstructed."

She told CNN: "We developed ways to generate synthetic data and used different algorithms and tested blindly to see if we can recover an image.

"We didn't want to just develop one algorithm. We wanted to develop many different algorithms that all have different assumptions built into them. If all of them recover the same general structure, then that builds your confidence."

She added: "No one of us could've done it alone. It came together because of lots of different people from many backgrounds."

MIT proudly posted a picture of Bouman comparing her work to the research that helped astronauts to land on the moon. Margaret Hamilton, a fellow MIT scientist, wrote the software code crucial for Nasa's moon mission.

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