Gladys West

American mathematician known for her contributions to Global Positioning Systems

Gladys Mae West (née Brown) (born 1930/1931) is an American mathematician. She is known for her works to the mathematical modelling of the shape of the Earth.[1] She was one of the team of mathematicians who worked on the development of the satellite geodesy models that eventually became the Global Positioning System.[2]

Gladys West
Dr Gladys West Hall of Fame.jpg
in 2018
Gladys Mae Brown

1931 (age 90–91)
EducationVirginia State University (BA, MA)
Virginia Tech (PhD)
Known forsatellite geodesy
Ira West (m. 1957)

West was added into the United States Air Force Hall of Fame in 2018.


  1. Butterfly, Amelia (20 May 2018). "Gladys West - the 'hidden figure' of GPS". BBC News Online. BBC 100 Women 2018.
  2. "Meet Gladys West: One Of The 'Hidden Figures' Behind The Creation Of The GPS System". Because of Them, We Can. Retrieved 2018-02-09.

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