Cecilia Aragon is an award-winning author, airshow pilot, and the first Latina full professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her innovative research, and a stint at NASA designing software for Mars missions, led President Obama to call her “one of the top scientists and engineers in the country.” In addition to her love of math and science, she’s passionate about helping others face their own fears and challenges to achieve their goals.
Her memoir, FLYING FREE: My Victory over Fear to Become the First Latina Pilot on the US Aerobatic Team (2020), shares how she used math to break past her own fears and become a champion aerobatic pilot. It debuted on five bestseller lists, won the 2021 Nancy Pearl Award and the 2021 International Latino Book Award Gold Medal, and is a TODAY Show and Hip Latina Recommended Read. "Exhilarating, adventurous, and thoughtful," FLYING FREE lifts readers into the skies on a woman's epic journey from fearful, bullied child to champion pilot.
Her book, WRITERS IN THE SECRET GARDEN: Fanfiction, Youth, and New Forms of Mentoring (2019), the subject of her recent TED talk which received over a million views in three months, takes a close look at the fascinating world of fanfiction to explore how young people express themselves. Her latest book, HUMAN-CENTERED DATA SCIENCE (2022), is an accessible guide to best practices for addressing bias and inequality in data science and artificial intelligence.
Visit Cecilia's website at http://CeciliaAragonAuthor.com
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FLYING FREE: My Victory over Fear to Become the First Latina Pilot on the US Aerobatic Team
FLYING FREE is the story of how Cecilia Aragon broke free from expectations and overcame fear to become the first Latina pilot to win a slot on the United States Unlimited Aerobatic Team and earn the right to represent her country at the Olympics of aviation, the World Aerobatic Championships. How did she do it? By combining her passion for flying with math in unexpected ways. You don’t have to be a math whiz or a science geek to learn from her story. You just have to want to soar.
HUMAN-CENTERED DATA SCIENCE: An Introduction2022
WRITERS IN THE SECRET GARDEN: Fanfiction, Youth, and New Forms of Mentoring2019
Awards and Recognition
- Winner of the 2021 Nancy Pearl Award
- Winner of the 2021 International Latino Book Award Gold Medal for Most Inspirational Nonfiction in English