Leah's Open Road
Designer, Engineer & Educator
Make choices out of love and excitement and passion and interest, and—when coupled with hard work—those will take you to really great places.
- She was always very drawn to her math and science classes in school, but outside of the classroom, she was very drawn to the arts.
- She often felt torn, because she always felt like she had to choose between the two.
- When she first went to college, she was a dance major and wanted to become a professional dancer.
- After a few years, she actually missed the academic challenge of math and science; she realized she could continue to perform on the side, but she should get a STEM education.
- She earned a B.A. in physics and a Ph.D. in computer science; it wasn’t until she started her postgraduate studies that she realized that she could blend her STEM and arts interests.
- Was an assistant professor at the MIT Media Lab, where she led the High-Low Tech research group, which blended arts and crafts with electrical engineering and technology.
- In 2006, she created LilyPad Arduino e-textile technology kits, used for embedding electronics in textiles; these kits kicked off a huge DIY wearable electronics movement.
- Says that the goal of her inventions and artworks is to make technology more accessible, and to encourage people to be “playful, unafraid, experimental, and curious.”