My name is Dr. Layne Jackson Hubbard and I am a Computing Innovation Fellow at the University of California Irvine, where I design playful technologies for early childhood.
I have a triple Ph.D. in computer science, cognitive science, and neuroscience.
I also taught preschool.
I'm the founder and director of MindScribe, where we make interactive robotic objects to support young children in telling reflective stories about their creative play.
My work has been funded by an NSF GRFP fellowship, a Chancellor's fellowship, and an $80K grant from OpenIDEO and Gary Community Ventures.
I'm a former foster kid and I'm autistic — I'd love to collaborate with you on how creativity & reflection might support resilience to trauma.
Read 20+ recommendations about my work from professors, technologists, teachers, and parents.
Check out my funded NSF fellowship proposal and my published papers in the ACM conferences on Conversational User Interfaces, Creativity & Cognition, Human Robot Interaction and Intelligent User Interfaces.
Layne pitching MindScribe at Catalyze CU Demo Day in 2018. Photo by Justin Joseph.
In the News
Robots help kids tell stories—with a little help from stuffed animals
Layne Hubbard knows the power of a stuffed animal.
“There’s no denying that our human-human interactions will always be the most important,” Hubbard said. “But toys let us do different things. They allow us to get messy with our ideas.” Read more.
The College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder interviewed computer science PhD student Layne Hubbard as part of their "Path to Engineering" series.
"My faculty mentors understood my nontraditional experiences and were committed to supporting my vision," says Layne. Read more.
A million dollars, 570 hopefuls, and 15 winners: How a new competition aims to boost babies and toddlers
MindScribe is one of 15 winners to share in $1 million awarded by a Denver-based organization as part of a new contest recognizing innovative efforts benefitting children from birth to 3 years old. Read more.
The Neural Network
Layne taught preschool for four years prior to attending CU and noticed that the children she taught were all going through some form of transition or trauma, whether it be losing family member or learning English. Read more.
Graduating student to use computer science to help solve community issues
"I became interested in neuroscience because I want to support the well-being of our population," Hubbard said. "The more we understand ourselves, the more we can do for ourselves. Read more.
First year's robotics work will help kids tell their stories
My freshman mentee won a UROP grant to fund her summer research!
“Young children have unique needs, and in this work Jasey will strengthen her ability to design and prototype for such a critical period of life,” said Hubbard. Read more.
Seven Inspiring Startups from the CU Ecosystem
Catalyze CU, the university’s flagship venture accelerator program, celebrated the close of its fifth annual 10-week program on Thursday (July 26th).
The caliber of startups coming out of CU is only growing stronger annually, with everything from smart fencing solutions to early child education being showcased by 7 energized, passionate founders. Read more.
MindScribe wins an OpenIDEO Early Childhood Innovation Prize
MindScribe was recently named one of the Early Childhood Innovation Prize’s “Top Ideas” because of its potential to create breakthrough impact for young children.
As one of 15 Top Ideas selected from more than 570 ideas submitted from innovators in 100 countries through OpenIDEO’s prize platform, we will share in $1 million in prize funding from Gary Community Investments (GCI) to help accelerate our impact. Read more.
NSF winner designs voice interactions to empower early childhood development
Layne Hubbard develops algorithms to guide voice interactions for preliterate students, and designs tangible, inquisitive companions for engaging children in creative reflection. Read more.
Colorado Daily: How to be an activist in the classroom
Layne is the Director of Academic Affairs for the CU Boulder Student Government. She writes:
"The quality of our classroom environments directly impacts thousands of individuals and influences our future success. There are many steps we can take to create classrooms that support diverse experiences and goals." Read more.
MindScribe wins the IQ Award for innovation in education
MindScribe won a BizWest 2018 IQ Award honoring the "Innovation Quotient" of Boulder Valley companies, products and services.
With nearly 100 finalists and only 13 total winners, MindScribe and BitsBox won the education category, alongside finalists including SparkFun, Misty Robotics, and Specdrums.
Check out the full list of finalists, and read about the winners.
Computer science startup earns early childhood innovation prize
Telling a story to a stuffed zebra might look like just a fun kids’ activity. But for computer science PhD student Layne Jackson Hubbard, it’s much more – it’s a way for kids to develop language, social and cognitive skills.
And she’s not alone in that assessment. Her startup, MindScribe, was recently awarded Gary Community Investment’s Early Childhood Innovation Prize, which supports projects that “maximize every child’s potential during their first three years of life.” Read more.
Emerging Technologies for Social Impact
MindScribe's founder recently spoke on a panel during Boulder Startup Week to discuss "Emerging Technologies for Social and Environmental Impact." Read more.
Get to know the staff: Layne's world
Layne writes about her efforts to create a new Neuroscience degree program at CU Boulder.
"This summer I presented to the Board of Regents a proposal for a new degree in neuroscience at CU-Boulder. It passed! This is a great boon for current and future brain-lovers and I am so thankful to everyone, especially Dr. Jerry Rudy, who made this happen." Read more.