Christine Darden (Also Christine Mann) is a black female aeronautical engineer who worked at the Langley Research Center for many years as a data analyst before rising to the top level in her field. She is from a large family and is renowned for her strong work ethic and intellectual curiosity. As a high school senior in 1957, she follows the news of Little Rock and Sputnik closely, and these events help galvanize her dedication to American scientific and technological progress and to civil rights. She graduates from a master’s program at Virginia State University with a plan to apply for professorships at Hampton Institute and Norfolk State, but when she goes to the placement office, they steer her towards NASA instead. Katherine Johnson takes Christine under her wing and introduces her to the black community in Hampton and Newport News. When, after several years in the same position, Christine feels stuck in her job as a data analyst, she complains to the head of her department, asking why men tend to be promoted while many women have been let go due to budget cuts. He tells her that no one has ever brought the issue up with him before, and he promotes her. She ultimately receives a PhD in engineering. Some of the code she writes while at the NACA is still at the core of sonic boom minimization programs in use today. Christine is younger than the other women featured in Hidden Figures and she represents the generation of women after Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, who grow up in a time of more freedom and opportunity for black people.