The Brilliant Calculator

Lower, Jan. The Brilliant Calculator: How Mathematician Edith Clarke Helped Electrify America. New York: Calkins Creek, an imprint of Astra Books for Young Readers, 2023.
Edith Clarke was born in 1883 and grew up loving numbers, excelling at school math competitions. She was sent to boarding school to learn about manners and music but instead dreamed of building railroads and bridges. After attending college, she became a math and physics teacher and helped invent a slide rule to speed up math calculations. She studied engineering, designed electrical transmission lines, and invented a calculator to help other engineers provide electricity for people all across America. All the information is told as a smoothly flowing story, in short sentences comfortable for reading silently or aloud. Extensive additional information is included at the end: an author’s note; a timeline; a glossary; a descriptive list of eight more women mathematicians, engineers, and inventors; and a lengthy bibliography. This beautifully designed and illustrated biography highly recommended for readers 9 to 90 years old.

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