Mary Lou Jepsen
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|Mary Lou Jepsen|
Mary Lou Jepsen
|Alma mater||Brown University|
|Known for||Co-founder, One Laptop Per Child|
Mary Lou Jepsen (born 1965) is Head of the Display Division at Google X. She is also founder and former CEO of Pixel Qi, a manufacturer of high performance, low-power, sunlight-readable screens for mobile devices. She was the co-founder and the first chief technology officer of One Laptop per Child (OLPC).
She was named to the "Time 100", an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world according to Time Magazine. In 2013 she was named one of the CNN 10: a list of top 10 thinkers in science and technology by CNN.
Early life and education
Jepsen studied Studio Art and Electrical Engineering at Brown University. She received a Master of Science in Holography from the MIT Media Lab, and then returned to Brown to receive a Ph.D. in Optical Sciences. Her contributions have had worldwide adoption in head-mounted display, HDTV and projector products. Her PhD work combined rigorous theoretical coupled-wave analysis with lab work, in which she created large-scale, embossed surface-relief diffraction gratings with liquid crystal-filled grooves with high diffraction efficiency in un-polarized illumination.
Jepsen has created some of the largest ambient displays ever. In Cologne, Germany she built a holographic replica of pre-existing buildings in the city's historic district...and created a holographic display encompassing a city block. She also conceived, built mathematical models of, resolved the fundamental engineering issues, and solved some of the logistics - to create what would have been the largest display ever for mankind: images displayed on the darkened moon. She co-created the first holographic video system in the world at the MIT Media Lab in 1989, where the interference structure of the hologram was computed at video rates, and shown on her hand-made display. This system inspired a new subfield of holographic video and received numerous awards.
Jepsen helped pioneer single-panel field sequential projection display systems, co-founding Microdisplay, the first company whose sole effort was the development of tiny displays, in 1995. There she served as its chief technology officer through 2003.
MIT Media Lab
In 2005 Jepsen joined the faculty of the MIT Media Lab as a professor with a tenure-track position. Here she started the Nomadic Displays Group. She simultaneously co-founded One Laptop per Child. Then, hooked on the impact that OLPC was having using the massive factory infrastructure of the world, she left Boston to split her time between Silicon Valley and Asia.
In January 2005, Jepsen joined Nicholas Negroponte to start One Laptop per Child and led the design, architecture, partnering, development and manufacture of the $100 laptop. As of 2013, millions of units have shipped and revenues are beyond the billion dollar mark. Every child in Uruguay has an OLPC laptop. There are deployments in over 50 other countries and in more than 25 different languages. OLPC is credited with changing the equation for what a minister of education can do to improve the education of a country's children. 
For the entire first year of the effort (2005) she was the only employee of One Laptop per Child [OLPC]. By the end of 2005, she had completed the initial architecture, led the development of the first prototype (which UN Secretary General Kofi Annan unveiled at a UN summit), and signed up some of the world's largest manufacturers to produce the XO-1. By the end of 2007 she had led the laptop through development and into high volume mass production.
At OLPC, notably, Jepsen invented the laptop's sunlight-readable display technology and co-invented its ultra-low power management system - and - has transformed these inventions into high volume mass production rapidly. The XO laptop is the lowest-power laptop ever made, and the most environmentally friendly laptop ever made. The laptop can sustain 5 foot drops, is mesh networked extending the reach of the network by letting signals hop from laptop to laptop.
After 3 full years with OLPC, In early 2008 she left OLPC to start a for-profit company, Pixel Qi, to commercialize some of the technologies she invented at OLPC.  Pixel Qi's business is based on the concept that the screen is the most critical component of any mobile device. Pixel Qi screens are available in a few dozen products and massively reduce the power consumption of the screen, which now accounts for about 90% of the power draw in an Apple iPad, and 70% of the power draw on a standard cell phone.
Solve for X
Mary Lou Jepsen was one of the first contributors in Google's "Solve for X"  projects with her idea of "Imaging the Mind's Eye".
Mary Lou has won several major awards:
- 100 most influential people in the world (Time Magazine's "Time 100")
- One of 2013's top 10 thinkers (as named by CNN)  (she's likely the only thinker to suffer from a brain tumor)
- Edwin Land Medal from the Optical Society (OSA) .
- Fellow of the Optical Society (OSA) 
- One of the top 50 female computer scientists of all time (as determined by the Anita Borg Institute).
- Brown University's top alumni awards: Horace Mann Medal (awarded by Brown Graduate School) and BEAM award (awarded by Brown University School of Engineering).
- World Technology Award in Hardware in 2010.
- In 2014 she received an honorary Doctorate of Science from Brown University.
She has also received numerous awards for the work she did at One Laptop per Child, and has been named to many other "top" lists in computing by Fast Company, New York Times, IEEE Spectrum and others. She is the "foursquare" mayor of Carnegie's Restaurant and Bar in Taipei, Taiwan. Quoted as saying "I honestly come here just for the food".
Jepsen is married to John Patrick Conor Ryan, formerly a partner at Monitor Group. In 1995, she suffered from a pituitary gland tumor and had it removed and thus suffers from panhypopituitarism, requiring a twice-daily regimen of hormone replacement.; her personal description of this and the ongoing challenges she faces was published in the New York Times.
- Mary Lou Jepsen - The 2008 TIME 100 - TIME
- Paula Dawson and Mary Lou Jepsen: Optical Transfer Of Master Hologram With 20 Meter Depth
- ACM Queue: A Conversation with Mary Lou Jepsen
- Pixel Qi "About Us" page, accessed October 5, 2008
- An excellent interview about de XO Design and technical choices
- NPR piece on Hundred-dollar laptop in early 2006
- 8 minute interview with Jepsen at WSIS, Tunis, November 2005
- 6 minute video with Jepsen describing green features of the XO Laptop, 1 February 2008
- Interview by Sara Forrest for Computerworld Magazine 2009
- Mary Lou Jepsen acceptance speech for Anita Borg Women of Vision Award
- Groklaw interview with Mary Lou Jepsen
- Newsweek story on Jepsen
- IEEE Today's Engineer 8/06 article written by Jepsen describing working at OLPC
- New York Times article on OLPC laptop featuring Jepsen's contributions
- OLPC CTO Mary Lou Jepsen quits nonprofit effort
- Pixel Qi eyes Taiwan
- Nasir, Farhat. "Google X? Google Launches "Solve for X" For Discussing Radical Ideas to Solve World Problems!". Hitechanalogy. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- Mary Lou Jepsen - The 2008 TIME 100 - TIME
- Edwin H. Land Medal
- "Brown confers nine honorary degrees". Brown University. 25 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- Mary Lou J.
- Mary Lou Jepsen - Inspiring, Feb. 12, 2007
- Bringing Back My Real Self With Hormones
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