What math does rocket science use

Olympia LePoint

Olympia Ann LePoint (* 1976 in Los Angeles) is an African American author, speaker and rocket scientist.[1]

Le Point is the managing director of Consulting Corporation & Publishing. She was involved in the design and construction of space rockets.

LePoint invented the term Mathaphobia and had it trademarked in 2010.[2] This is said to be a learning disability and fear of math associated with the amygdala in the brain. In 2013 she published the book Math Phobia: How to Overcome Your Fears and Become a Rocket Scientist (Original: "Mathaphobia: How you Can Overcome Your Math Fears and Become a Rocket Scientist"). As a university teacher, LePoint uses mathematics and scientific principles to help people overcome their fears and difficulties.

Childhood

LePoint was born in Los Angeles, California and attended school at the Alexander Hamilton Music Academy near Beverly Hills, California. Her childhood dream was always to become a rocket scientist. When she was 10, she was badly injured in the face by a classmate and was taken out of school for several months because of a deep cut. She said she grew up in poverty. There was a crack house next to her parents' house. Due to the many missing months, she failed several times in the MINT subjects, until a math teacher offered the students to anyone who was interested in giving free tutoring. LePoint immediately took advantage of this opportunity and, after a long period of hard work, mastered the MINT subjects excellently.[3]

Education [edit]

LePoint graduated from high school at 16 and began studying at California State University in Northridge.[4]

Shortly after enrolling, LePoint was trapped in the wreckage of a dormitory on campus in the Northridge earthquake on January 17, 1994. 8,700 were injured and 56 died in the earthquake, including a fellow student. Despite the difficulties, she kept on getting her degrees, continued studying, and was a math tutor. She received the "Karen, Leo and Rita Aulter Memorial Prize"[5] as one of the top 5 graduates out of 6,500 from the 1998 graduating class.

LePoint earned a BS in Mathematics and an MS in Applied Mathematics from California State University Northridge.[6]

Career [edit]

After graduating, she joined Boeing as a mathematician when she was 21[7] employed and worked there from 1998-2007 as a rocket scientist for the NASA Space Flight Program. As a specialist in Mission Control, she was responsible for developing real-time solutions for ensuring the safety of rocket launches and for testing rocket engines. LePoint helped design and build space shuttles, 28 of which were launched between 1998 and 2007.[8][9]

Awards [edit]

  • In 2010 the magazine "All Things Girl" named her "an inspiring woman"[10]
  • 2009 "Top 40 Under 40-Year-Old Business Executives" by San Fernando Valley Business Magazine[11]
  • 2004 the Boeing "Professional Excellence Award" (excellence in work) presented by the technical director.
  • In 2003 she received the National Black Engineer of the Year Modern Day Technology Leader Award from the United States' Association of African-American Engineers[12]
  • 2001 Distinguished Engineering Project Achievement Award from Engineers' Council Incorporated
  • 2000 the Boeing "Technical Excellence Award" (price for excellence in technology)

Life and work

As a managing director, speaker and university professor, LePoint helps her listeners address their fears. She helps individuals pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, or math. She founded the nationwide education program "Olympia's- End of Math Phobia", a system that promotes mathematical competence in the USA. To promote education, LePoint founded the publishing and media company OL Consulting Corporation in 2010.[13]

LePoint is a math professor at Pasadena City College in Pasadena.[14]

In 2007, LePoint discovered math phobia and registered the term under trademark law in 2010. Math phobia is an anxiety disorder that prevents people from becoming proficient in math, as well as severely hampering basic math calculations and analytical problem solving. In 2013, on the occasion of the discovery, she wrote the self-help book Math Phobia: How to Overcome Your Math Fear and Become a Rocket Scientist. It is designed to help adults as well as schoolchildren and students overcome their fears of math and master science without working their way through additional math problems.

TV and media appearances [edit]

Reports about LePoint have appeared in various magazines and print / online newspapers. In 2010 she was featured on Oprah.com as "The New Face for Math Literacy" for her explanation of the term math phobia.[15] She has appeared on Dr. Drew's Life Changes TV Show, The Bret Lewis News Hour, Jump Shipp on The Halogen Network, and Christian's OnDemand Episodes. She often appears on television, radio, and social platforms as an expert on math and science.[16]

Publications [edit]

  • Olympia LePoint: Mathaphobia. How You Can Overcome Your Math Fears and Become a Rocket Scientist. OL Consulting Corporation & Publishing, 2013, ISBN 978-0-9885376-3-7.

Web links [edit]

References Edit]

  1. ↑ Boroughs, Mick, Boeing News Now Special Feature article, “Olympia LePoint: A Most Promising Engineer,” The Boeing Company Publications, February 12, 2003.
  2. ↑ "USPTO ISSUES TRADEMARK: MATHAPHOBIA" High Beam. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  3. ↑ LePoint, Olympia, TEDxPCC, Video “Reprogramming your brain to overcome fear: Olympia LePoint at TEDxPCC,” Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
  4. ↑ Chiang, Sharline, Daily News, Article "Graduation Advances To Next Level: A Student Finds Her Calling," Wednesday May 27, 1998.
  5. ↑ "CSUN Awards"CSUN News: Graduating Student Awards News.
  6. ^ Kareem, Nadra, "Top 40 Under 40" Business Leaders Award article, "Age Places No Barriers to Business Ownership," San Fernando Valley Business Journal, Feb. 18, 2008.
  7. ↑ “CSUN Awards” California State University Alumni Magazine, Alumni Notes, Summer 2003 Edition, page 25.
  8. ↑ Boroughs, Mick, Boeing News Now Special Feature article, “Olympia LePoint: A Most Promising Engineer,” The Boeing Company Publications, February 12, 2003.
  9. ↑ LePoint, Olympia, Mathaphobia: How You Can Overcome Your Math Fears and Become a Rocket Scientist, Los Angeles, California, OL Consulting Corporation, 2013, page 29.
  10. ↑ Ravenel, Roxanne. (August 12, 2010). "Inspiring Woman: Olympia LePoint"All Things Girl.
  11. ↑ Kareem, Nadra, "Top 40 Under 40" Business Leaders Award article, "Age Places No Barriers to Business Ownership," San Fernando Valley Business Journal, February 18, 2008.
  12. ↑ Boeing: Prices for excellence. June 6, 2003, accessed on December 27, 2014 (English): "Black Engineer of the Year Award, ... Technology Leader: Olympia LePoint, IDS"
  13. ↑ Kareem, Nadra, "Top 40 Under 40" Business Leaders Award article, "Age Places No Barriers to Business Ownership," San Fernando Valley Business Journal, Feb. 18, 2008.
  14. ↑ Pasadena City College: Olympia A Lepoint. Error in submission: Internet source,, accessed on December 27, 2014 (English).
  15. ↑ "Olympia's Audition"OWN Channel. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  16. ↑ Now Casting: Olympia LePoint. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
Authority data (person): LCCN: n2014035335 | VIAF: 310519800 | | No GND personal data record. Last checked: December 25, 2014. GND name entry: 14188732X