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Leah Buechley July 2012

All About Leah Buechley
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Leah Buechley

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About Leah
Leah Buechley directs the Media Lab's High-Low Tech research group, which investigates the integration of high and low technology from cultural, material, and practical perspectives, with the goal of engaging diverse groups of people in developing their own technologies. She is a well-known expert in the field of electronic textiles (e-textiles), and her work in this area includes developing a method for creating cloth printed circuit boards (fabric PCBs) and designing the commercially available LilyPad Arduino toolkit. Her research has been featured in The New York Times, Boston Globe, Popular Science, CRAFT Magazine, Journal of Architectural Design, Denver Post, and the Taipei Times. Buechley received PhD and MS degrees in computer science from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a BA in physics from Skidmore College.


Leah Buechley models a tank top that she designed to display dynamic patterns such as scrolling text or mathematical simulations. The top can be programmed wirelessly using a Palm Pilot.

"I'm especially excited about the ability of these materials to engage girls in computer science and electrical engineering, fields that are overwhelmingly populated with males," she says. Although wary of gender-based stereotypes, Buechley says electronic textiles may appeal more to some girls than remote controlled cars or robots, which are traditionally used to introduce embedded computing concepts."

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