Mary Lou Jepsen

Mary Lou Jepsen (1965-) is an engineer and technology pioneer known for her contributions to mobile device screens, Oculus Virtual Reality, and the One Laptop per Child program.  Raised in Connecticut, she graduated with degrees in art and electrical engineering from Brown University, followed by a Master of Science in Holography from the MIT Media Lab.  In 1989, she co-created the world’s first holographic video system, before going back to Brown University for a Ph.D. in Optical Sciences. In 1995 she co-founded Microdisplay, the first company to solely develop tiny displays. She co-founded the One Laptop per Child program which prioritized creating and distributing affordable educational devices for the developing world; the XO laptop is the lowest-power and most environmentally friendly laptop ever made. At OLPC,  she invented the laptop’s sunlight-readable display technology and co-invented its ultra-low-power management system. In 2008, she founded Pixel Qi, a company that designs and refines sunlight-readable, power-saving screens for e-readers, outdoor displays and laptops. In 1995 she had a pituitary gland tumor removed, and continues to take hormone replacement pills twice a day: this experience prompted her to focus more on curing diseases with new display technology.  Her recent work has been leading display and hardware development at Facebook / Oculus and at Google: she announced her resignation in Spring of 2016 in favor of launching her new startup which aims to advance neuroscience and access to medical technology.