Inducted in 2008
Mary Lou Jepsen is the co-founder and CTO of One Laptop per Child (OLPC). At OLPC, Mary Lou is the lead innovator and architect of the lowest-cost, lowest-power, and greenest laptop ever made. This laptop made the distribution of millions of computers to children in developing countries worldwide.
She convinced Asian manufacturers to join the effort despite widespread disparagement about the project’s viability, led the development of the laptop, and saw it into high volume mass production. She is responsible for the most significant innovations to the laptop—she invented the innovative sunlight-readable screen and co-invented the laptop’s power management system.
Through her new company, Pixel Qi, she contends—at the end of the day—the computer is the display. Her company focuses on creating innovative displays with a fabless ASIC approach using standard LCD manufacturing processes and materials (now and as they evolve) that allow rapid ramp into high volume mass production. Previously Mary Lou was the CTO of Intel’s display division and the co-founder and CTO of the MicroDisplay Corporation.
She was named one of 2013’s Top 10 Thinkers by "CNN," but that is just the beginning of her heady list of awards. During her illustrious career, she has also received Brown University’s top alumni awards, the Horace Mann Medal and BEAM Award, as well as the Edwin Land Medal from the Optical Society, where she was also named as a fellow, and the World Technology Award in Hardware in 2010.
In 2008, "Time" magazine recently named Mary Lou one of the 100 most influential people in the world for her work at OLPC. Beyond that, she was named as one of the top 50 female computer scientists of all time by the Anita Borg Institute. She has worked with many big-name corporations, serving as an executive at Facebook, the creator of Google Lego TV and the head of display division at Google X, the founder of the Nomadic Displays Group and a faculty member at the MIT Media Lab.
In 2014, she received an honorary doctorate of science from Brown University. She also holds a PhD in Optics and a BS in electrical engineering from Brown University, and an M.S. from the MIT Media Lab in holography.