Following the release of the image, Bouman has received international plaudit for her years-long work — including from celebrities and politicians.
U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a vocal proponent of women in leadership, praised Bouman’s “enormous contribution to the advancements of science and mankind.”
Bouman, who is now an assistant professor of computing and mathematical sciences at the California Institute of Technology, was keen to point out the shared input of her colleagues.
“No one of us could do it alone,” she told CNN.
The efforts to capture the image involved a team of more than 200 scientists in locations across the globe. Bouman’s was one of a number of algorithms used to piece together the images captured by the network of telescopes.
Yet her method of processing the data — which involved multiple algorithms with “different assumptions build into them” — was said to be instrumental.
“(Bouman) was a major part of one of the imaging subteams,” said Vincent Fish, a research scientist at MIT’s Haystack Observatory.
Her contribution was also hailed by MIT and the Smithsonian on social media.
“3 years ago MIT grad student Katie Bouman led the creation of a new algorithm to produce the first-ever image of a black hole,” MIT’s Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab wrote.
In a separate video on her Instagram page, Bouman noted: “This is … the beginning of being able to have another window into what black holes can tell us about our laws and physics.”