One of the first things that comes to mind when someone mentions movies and technology together are high-budget blockbusters like the Star Wars franchise that are filled with expensive and elaborate special effects. However, as 2017 Oscar night approaches, one of the favorites for Best Picture is Hidden Figures, a “real-life” technology story that was brought to life on  the silver screen.

Hidden Figures is based on the true story of three female African-American mathematicians who helped John Glenn become the first American to orbit the earth. As outlined in a review by the The Institute, although all three women went on to become NASA pioneers — the first African-American woman to help launch a man into space, the first female African-American supervisor, and the first female African-American engineer — their incredible accomplishments failed to receive the  recognition they deserved. Through this movie, their contributions to the space program will finally be recognized —  50+ years after the fact.

Two years ago another film based on a “real-life” technology story, The Imitation Game, caught the attention of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The film examines the work of British mathematician Alan Turing, who helped crack the German Enigma Code and laid the foundation for what we now consider modern computing.

While there have already been portrayals of the work of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg in the movies, could the real-life story of Elon Musk be next?

Written by IEEE on February 17, 2017

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