College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Former NASA Rocket Scientist Set for Special Science Café

UM alumna Josephine Howard to discuss math and science careers Oct. 27


Jo Howard

Jo Howard | Photo by Dennis Irwin

A veteran scientist who helped NASA achieve one of the crowning achievements of the 20th century will discuss highlights of her career Tuesday (Oct. 27) in a special University of Mississippi Science Café.

Josephine “Jo” Howard, a UM graduate and former rocket scientist, will discuss “Reflections on the Apollo Space Program and Mathematics and Science Careers” for the second Science Café meeting of the month.

Co-sponsored by UM’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and Department of Mathematics, the session begins at 6 p.m. at Lusa Bakery Bistro and Bar, 1120 North Lamar Blvd. Admission is free.

“Jo Howard worked for Boeing on programming the trajectories that put a man on the moon in 1969,” said James Reid, interim chair and professor of mathematics. “She has had a long and varied career in programming space simulators, data management in the oil and gas industries, and real estate development.”

Howard’s 30-minute presentation will include insights about education and life that she gained throughout her eclectic career.
“Howard reminds me a lot of our students because she is very industrious,” Reid said. “This is one of the most exciting speakers our undergraduates will have an opportunity to hear.”

She worked on design trajectory for the Apollo lunar missions, programmed data management programs for oil and gas companies, wrote control language for data management systems, and organized and implemented successful political campaigns for 18 years.

A resident of Sugar Land, Texas, Howard also has taught junior high and high school, operated her own real estate company and helped found Living Water International, an organization that helps provide clean water in 26 countries. She assisted with typhoon relief in countries affected by a 2013 typhoon.

She graduated from UM in 1964 with her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and minors in psychology, French and education. She earned her master’s in combined science of mathematics and biology from Ole Miss in 1967.

For more information about Oxford Science Café programs, go to For more information about the Department of Physics and Astronomy, visit or call 662-915-5311. For more information about the Department of Mathematics, visit or call 662-915-7071.