March 24, 2010 AT 9:00 am

Mary Lou Jepsen, display tech – 24 hours of Lady Ada Lovelace day #ald10

Pt 2735

Each hour we are featuring a woman we admire who is currently doing amazing work right in the tech/maker/art/science space. Woman of the hour, Mary Lou Jepsen.

Mary Lou Jepsen was the founding chief technology officer of One Laptop per Child (OLPC), an organization whose mission is to deliver low-cost, mesh-networked laptops en masse to children in developing countries. She 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… After 3 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.

Her blog is here


About today:

Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging (videologging, podcasting, comic drawing etc.!) to draw attention to the achievements of women in technology and science. Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognized. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines, whatever they do. It doesn’t matter how new or old your blog is, what gender you are, what language you blog in, or what you normally blog about – everyone is invited.

Who was Ada? Ada Lovelace Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852) was one of the world’s first computer programmers, and one of the first people to see computers as more than just a machine for doing sums. She wrote programs for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, a general-purpose computing machine, despite the fact that it was never built. She also wrote the very first description of a computer and of software.


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