Mary Lou Jepsen

Inventor, entrepreneur and optical physicist
Mary Lou Jepsen pushes the edges of what is possible in optics and physics, to make new types of devices, leading teams and working with huge factories that can ship vast volumes of these strange, new things.

Why you should listen

Mary Lou Jepsen is one of the world’s foremost engineers and scientists in optics, imaging and display -- inventing at the hairy, crazy edge of what physics allows, and aiming to do what seems impossible, leading teams to achieve these in volume in partnership with the world’s largest manufacturers, in Asia. She has over 200 patents published or issued.

She today is the founder and CEO of Openwater, which aims to use new optics to see inside our bodies. Previously a top technical exec at Google, Facebook, Oculus and Intel, her startups include One Laptop Per Child, where she was CTO and chief architect on the $100 laptop. She studied at Brown, MIT and Rhode Island School of Design, and was a professor at both MITs - the one in Cambridge, Mass., and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Tech in Australia.

Mary Lou Jepsen’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Mary Lou Jepsen

In Brief

A spacecraft’s final mission … and other news from TED speakers

April 7, 2017

Please enjoy your weekly roundup of TED-related news: Good luck and farewell to the Cassini spacecraft. Launched 20 years ago, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will begin its final mission on April 26.  The spacecraft will embark on a series of 22 dives through the space between Saturn and its rings, transmitting data that may help us […]

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Questions you may have about Mary Lou Jepsen’s TED Talk

March 3, 2014

Mary Lou Jepsen’s talk about the future of brain-reading devices was widely discussed at TED2013 and, after the conference, we received a few very specific technical and scientific questions from attendees who watched it live. Jepsen’s is the kind of talk that tests the limit of TED’s short-talk format — it’s full of technical information […]

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