A photo of Layne Jackson Hubbard walking on a green mountain trail and looks back over her shoulder to smile at the camera.

My name is Layne and I'm a double PhD student in computer science and cognitive science at the University of Colorado Boulder, funded by an NSF GRFP fellowship.

I also taught preschool.

I've dedicated my PhD to building tools for early childhood development.

I'm the founder and director of
MindScribe, and we make interactive robotic objects to help young children tell reflective stories about their creative play.

I'm a former foster kid and I'm autistic—I'd love to collaborate with you on how creativity might support resilience to trauma.

An art sketch of Layne's with different colored lines and dashes intersecting in shapes across the page. Two large eyes are arranged aysmmetrically.
Layne's art sketch of a talk on "How to know the birds" with the silhouette of a bird. Words from the talk are written into the shapes and forms of the wings, feathers, and clouds.

Selected Awards

2018: OpenIDEO Early Childhood Innovation Prize

2018: BizWest 'Innovation Quotient' 
IQ Award in Education

2018: Catalyze Venture Accelerator,
Demo Day Cohort

2018: ACM Human Robot Interaction Conference, 2nd Prize Student Design Competition

2017: GlueCon & CapitalOne DevExchange,
2nd Prize Alexa Skills Hackathon

2017: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

2015: Chancellor's Fellowship


2018: MindScribe: Toward Intelligently Augmented Interactions in Highly Variable Early Childhood Environments. ACM IUI Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces.

2018: MindScribe: Reflective Inquiry through Scaffolded Storytelling for Low-Income and Multilingual Early Childhood Communities. ACM HRI Conference on Human Robot Interaction.

Layne's art sketch with colorful lines of in shades of blue, teal, purple, pink, and black. Cubes, eyes, spirals, and ampersands dance acros the page. She writes "Thank you" in the middle.

Layne pitching MindScribe at Catalyze CU Demo Day in 2018. Photo by Justin Joseph.

In the News


MindScribe wins the IQ Award for innovation in education

10 . 23 . 2018

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

06 . 18 . 2018

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

05 . 15 . 2018

MindScribe's founder recently spoke on a panel during Boulder Startup Week to discuss "Emerging Technologies for Social and Environmental Impact." Read more.


Still Myself: A Neuroscience Story

10 . 14 . 2016

The Story Collider podcast presents: Layne Jackson Hubbard wakes up in a hospital room with a head wound and no memory of how she got there. Read more.


Get to know the staff: Layne's world

10 . 13 . 2014

Layne writes about her efforts to create a new Neuroscience degree program at CU Boulder. 

"This summer we 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.


Engineering Spotlight

09 . 13 . 2018

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

05 . 22 . 2018

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

11 . 16 . 2017

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

05 . 07 . 2014

"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.


Seven Inspiring Startups from the CU Ecosystem

08 . 03 . 2018

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

05 . 22 . 2018

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

09 . 27 . 2017

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

03 . 10 . 2014

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.