he Girl with a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague is a rhyming-text picture book about Raye Montague. After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted mathematician persisted-- finally gaining her well-deserved title in history: a pioneer who changed the course of ship design forever.
Raye Montague, the groundbreaking engineer and ship designer, smashed both gender and racial barriers to revolutionize Naval ship design and become the U.S. Navy's first female program manager of ships. Born in Little Rock, she graduated from what would later become the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in 1956. She began her naval career in Maryland as a digital computer systems operator. She later became a computer systems analyst and served as program director for the Naval Sea Systems Command’s Integrated Design, Manufacturing and Maintenance Program. She became the first female Program Manager of Ships in the U.S. Navy, overseeing a staff of 250 and the procurement of Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing equipment for more than 100,000 people.