West Lafayette native makes history

Thanks to a West Lafayette native, scientists around the world are celebrating the first image of a black hole.

Posted: Apr 11, 2019 6:34 PM
Updated: Apr 12, 2019 9:16 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind (WLFI)—It was the work of a West Lafayette native that led to the first image ever made of a black hole.

"It is a shock. It is like amazing, that it's just a local person,” said West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School Science Teacher Phil Pusey.

West Lafayette's Katie Bouman’s passion for science has now impacted the world.

"Am I shocked in the fact that it was Katie? Not at all,” said Pusey.

Bouman made history on Wednesday creating an algorithm that made it possible to produce the very first image of a black hole.

"It was a reaffirmation of what I see hard work, attention to detail, and discipline does,” said Pusey.

Phil Pusey was Bouman's science teacher at West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School. He said even then, he knew her passion would bring her great success.

"She was doing her thing,” said Pusey. “Which is, if it was writing a lab report it was thorough, it was detailed, never missed putting units on the end of her numbers.”

While in high school Bouman furthered her research with the help of Purdue Biology Professor Cynthia Stauffacher.

"It’s no surprise that with her mathematical skills that she is succeeding in this way with this fascinating project,” said Stauffacher.

Professor Stauffacher is also the Director of the Lafayette Regional Science Fair. In 2005 Bauman took a mathematical project to the International Science Fair that Stauffacher sponsored.

"Then you see later that they've achieved something truly dramatic, world stage kind of science,” said Stauffacher. “That's just, it's the most exciting thing a teacher can see."

In 2016 Bouman hosted a TedTalk explaining the process it would take in order to snap-shot an image of a black hole. In 2019, she's explaining how it feels to make history.

"I always tell my kids how much I love them,” said Pusey. “So, I told my kids today, I hope that Katie felt that when she was in my classroom. So I would like to say, Katie I am so proud and I can't imagine a better person.”

Bouman will start teaching as an assistant professor at California Institute of Technology in the fall. 

West Lafayette
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 63°
Kokomo
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 60°
Rensselaer
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 54°
Fowler
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 54°
Williamsport
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 55°
Crawfordsville
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 58°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
60° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 60°
Delphi
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 59°
Monticello
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 59°
Logansport
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 54°
Mainly Dry and Warmer Rest of the Week.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 112626

Reported Deaths: 3520
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20832759
Lake10292318
Elkhart6415109
St. Joseph6156102
Allen6029200
Hamilton4724109
Vanderburgh344530
Hendricks2673122
Monroe247436
Tippecanoe226913
Johnson2268123
Clark215056
Porter207845
Cass19329
Delaware188261
Vigo178123
Madison159575
LaPorte137739
Floyd131461
Howard128563
Kosciusko120217
Warrick119936
Bartholomew115357
Marshall98924
Dubois95418
Boone95146
Hancock91143
Grant89133
Noble89132
Henry77024
Wayne74414
Jackson7409
Morgan70038
Shelby66529
Daviess64427
Dearborn63228
LaGrange63111
Clinton59212
Harrison56024
Putnam53710
Lawrence50528
Montgomery50521
Knox5019
Gibson4854
White48114
DeKalb45611
Decatur45439
Miami4263
Fayette41813
Greene41835
Jasper3862
Steuben3707
Scott35610
Sullivan33012
Jennings31212
Posey3060
Franklin29925
Clay2935
Orange28524
Ripley2838
Carroll27013
Wabash2618
Washington2611
Starke2537
Whitley2526
Wells2482
Adams2453
Jefferson2443
Fulton2342
Huntington2223
Tipton21722
Spencer2153
Perry21413
Randolph2087
Jay1730
Newton17111
Owen1651
Martin1640
Rush1524
Pike1401
Vermillion1260
Fountain1182
Pulaski1151
Blackford1133
Crawford1030
Brown1023
Parke941
Benton880
Union770
Ohio767
Switzerland700
Warren391
Unassigned0225

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events