Inventors are inspirational. Mary Lou Jepsen is an inventor, educator, and executive. She is leading the effort to bring Virtual Reality to the next level. She has multiple patents related to display screens and computers. She invented the $100 laptop and co-founded One Laptop per Child. She was the first chief technology officer and has shipped millions of laptops to children in the developing world.
Mary Lou Jepsen was born in either 1964 or 1965. She studied Studio Art and Electrical Engineering at Brown University. She then received her Master of Science in Holography from the MIT Media Lab and a Ph.D. in Optical Sciences from Brown University. Jepson went on to create some of the biggest ambient displays ever. She co-invented the first holographic video system in 1989 at the MIT Media Lab. A new subfield of holographic video was started.
Mary Lou Jepsen married Patrick Conor Ryan. In 1995, she was diagnosed with a pituitary gland tumor. She had the tumor removed, but now suffers from panhypopituitarism. This has required a twice-daily hormone replacement regimen.
In 1995, Jepsen co-founded Microdisplay to pioneer single-panel field sequential projection display systems. She was the chief technology officer until 2003. She then was the chief technology officer of Intel’s Display Division until 2004. In 2005, she became a professor at the MIT Media Lab. She, also, co-founded One Laptop per Child at this time. By 2007, she had invented and developed the XO-1 laptop for mass production.This is the lowest-power laptop and most environmentally friendly laptop ever produced. In 2008, she founded Pixel Qi to commercialize the technologies invented at One Laptop per Child. She is a contributor in Google’s “Solve for X”. She became Head of the Display Division at Google X in 2013. In 2015, she became an executive at Facebook. She works on Virtual Reality and is known as one of the world’s top consumer electronics/IT hardware architects.
Mary Lou Jepsen has received multiple awards. She has been honored in Time Magazine’s “Time 100” as an influential person and CNN’s “One of 2013’s top 10 Thinkers”. In 2014, she received an honorary doctorate from Brown University. Awards and honors continue to be given, including for Jepsen’s work for One Laptop per Child. Be inspired! Have a bright day!