Dr. Mary Lou Jepsen was recently named one of the hundred most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in May 2008 for her work in creating Pixel Qi, and her previous work at One Laptop per Child where she was the founding chief technology officer. Notably Mary Lou invented the laptop’s sunlight-readable display technology and co-invented its ultra-low-power management system. Critically, she transformed these inventions into ready-to-ship hardware, integrated into the XO laptop. Mary Lou convinced some of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers to create the XO with her, and she created and managed the relationships between OLPC and them. She was responsible for all of the OLPC hardware, mechanicals, electronics, display, integration, manufacturating, certification, and environmental footprint reduction during her tenure at OLPC.
The XO laptop is the lowest-cost laptop ever made, the lowest-power laptop ever made, and the most environmentally friendly laptop ever made. It has received numerous awards, drawn widespread global attention, and spurred the new class of compact laptop – which is expected to grow to over 50 million units by 2010.
Mary Lou’s earlier contributions have had world-wide adoption in successful HDTV, projector and head-mounted display products. She has been a pioneer in single-panel field-sequential projection display systems and liquid-crystal-on-silicon system-on-chip devices. She co-founded the first company whose sole effort was development of microdisplays in 1995 (The Microdisplay Corporation) and served as its chief technology officer through 2003. Until the end of 2004, she was a group executive and the chief technology officer of the display division at Intel Corporation.
Mary Lou holds a Ph.D. in Optical Sciences, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering (with honors) and a B.A. (req.) in Studio Art all from Brown University as well as a Master of Science in Holography from the MIT Media Lab.