The Brilliant Calculator:

How Mathematician Edith Clarke Helped Electrify America

Calkins Creek/Astra Books for Young Readers, March 14, 2023.

ISBN 978-1-6626-8006-9

40 pages, Ages 7-10 years (Grades 1-4)

HIDDEN FIGURES meets ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER in this STEM/STEAM picture book about Edith Clarke, the innovator who solved an electrical mystery and built the first graphing calculator–from paper!”

This non-fiction picture book features Edith Clarke, America’s first female electrical engineer, as she uses her exceptional mathematical knowledge to transform the expansion of electrical power transmission during the 1920s and beyond. Inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for the invention of a graphical calculator that solved complex equations ten times faster than a human, Edith Clarke rose from the role of “human computor” to pre-eminence in her chosen profession. A key figure in 20th century engineering, Edith Clarke foreshadowed today’s electrical “Smart Grid” almost a hundred years ago.

Illustrations by Susan Reagan.

“For those girl mathematicians who enjoy problems and delight in solving mathematical puzzles, electrical engineering is an ideal profession.” (Edith Clarke, 1940)

Society of Women Engineers Archives