Compilation of Awards and Accomplishments to Date

When one receives a message from Cathy Veal of Illinois Math and Science Academy, the directive is to get to work putting together the best CV possible. As far as crowning career achievements in high school go, I was an Intel Science Talent Search Semi-Finalist and a Davidson Fellows Out-of-the-Box Honorable Mention (2003). Mostly, though, my best memories from high school are from the time spent with friends. The picture above is from my senior year circa 2002 when I lived with Anna Hang, Emma Goodman and Rui Guan. That was the quad. That Emma girl: She lent me her prom dress, carried me through number theory, led me through nearly every high school obstacle and wrote in our senior year yearbook: "If you can't be a good example, you'll just have to be a horrible warning". She's in UK at the moment but somebody please bring her back.

Curriculum Vitae (compiled 10/24/17) | About Me

My research interests are in identifying how the human brain perceives differently from our devices. Correspondingly, my engineering interests are to leverage those differences to create useful and new experiences.


2005: Sailing with mentors Andy Lippman and David P. Reed

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2007 - 2012): VRCodes: Embedding Unobtrusive Data for New Devices in Visible Light, PhD Thesis Premise for starting Pixels.IO; granted NSF SBIR I Proposal #1448613; PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2005 - 2007): Separation of multiple passive RFID signals using Software Defined Radio, MS Thesis Nortel Fellow (2006); MS in Media Arts and Science

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2002-2005): Peak Power Reduction in MIMO OFDM via Active Constellation Extension, Undergraduate Special Projects Timothy N. Trick Leadership Award (2004); Ellery B. Paine Award (2004); Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering Minor in Mathematics; granted National Science Foundation GRFP

Illinois Math and Science Academy (1999-2002): Modern Fuzzy Method Intel Science Talent Search Semi-Finalist (2002), Davidson Fellows Out-of-the-Box Honorable Mention (2003)

Work Experience

2017: Video Screenshot from PBS Roadtrip Nation shot at the San Francisco Exploratorium

  • Pixels.IO
  • San Francisco, CA: Co-Founder (2013-present)

    Taking forward VRCodes from theory to deployment. Responsible for business development, team growth, research and development of VRCodes for widespread use. Recognized in Fast Company as top 100 Most Creative People, Elle Magazine as Most Influential Women in Technology, European Business Review, Wired, BBC, MIT amongst many other popular news outlets. Collaborations with L'Oreal and SAP. Participation in the E14Fund led by Joi Ito.

  • Lorem Ipsum Books
  • Cambridge, MA: Minimum Wage Bookstore Manager (2012-2013)

    Inherited position in failing 9-year-old brick-and-mortar bookstore started by a MIT Media Lab alumni. Software management for 20,000+ books, bootstrapping and subsequent shutdown of startup space.

  • Boston Globe Lab
  • Cambridge, MA; Contributor (Summer 2011)

    Part of a three person team building out future technology empowered experiences for the Boston Glob. Webby award (2011) received for building out Snap: a Digital Real-Time Instagram Video Wall depicting the city of Boston.

  • Samsung Telecom Advanced Research
  • Richardson, Texas: R&D Intern (Summer 2009)

    Developed internal tools for better decoding of QR-codes. Specifically, the use of Guruswami- Sudan codes for soft code decoding.

  • Vanu Software Defined Radio
  • Cambridge, MA: R&D Intern (Summer 2007)

    Developed analysis of frequency hopping algorithms in the OFDM communications chain.

  • Various Teaching Assignments
  • Aurora, IL (1999-2002); Urbana-Champaign, IL (2002-2005); Cambridge, MA (2005-2012); San Francisco, CA (2017-current)

    MI4 @Illinois Math and Science Academy grader (2000-2002); Linear Algebra, Multi-Variable Calculus Online Teacher using Mathematica (2003); ECE413: Probability and Statistics Grader (2004), ECE329: Electricity and Magnetism Grader (2004); 6.02 Intro to Digital Communications Systems Teaching Assistant (2010-2012); 6.835 Intelligent Multimodal User Interfaces Teaching Assistant (2009); CS111A Introduction to Java (2017), CS160A and CS160B Introduction to Unix/Linux Shell Scripting (2017)


    VRCodes (2010-2017)

    Developing a method of leveraging existing displays and cameras for an oriented and optical-based communication channel. The investigation and discovery for how a rolling shutter behaves differently from the human eye. VRCodes take advantage of all dimensions of time, space and color to embed information that the human eye cannot see but the camera can. Resulting demonstrations and publications:

  • Polka Dot IO dba Pixels.IO: A media technology venture formed to resolve many of the engineering challenges preventing VRCodes from being massively adopted. This includes software backward compatibility with deployed displays and cameras.

  • Lipsync (2013): An installation where sound can be heard through the mobile device depending on which silent display the phone is pointed in. Shown at MIT 100K and JCDe- ceaux. Szymon Jakubczak, Grace Woo. MIT100K.mp4

  • Newsflash (2012): An installation where high frequency light transmits data from news- paper frontpages shown on iPads to the smart phone. Shown at MIT Media Lab private events. Grace Woo, Andy Lippman. mit-media-lab-newsflash-hands-on/

  • VRCodes: Unobtrusive and active visual codes for interaction by exploiting rolling shutter International Symposium for Mixed and Augmented Reality Conference. (ISMAR) Grace Woo, Andy Lippman and Ramesh Raskar. 2012.

  • Ways of Seeing (2011): Visible Pixels as a Network Interface. Demonstration of basic physical phenomena of flicker colored light quickly such that you cannot see with your eyes but can be picked up with a camera. MIT Museum.

    Bokode (Fall 2009)

  • Leveraged an optical setup where cameras do not require focus in order to receive a sharp image of projected structured light. Developed a new camera based interaction solution where an ordinary camera can detect small optical tags from a relatively large distance while looking like just a tiny dot to the human eye. Published in ACM Siggraph 2009: Bokode: Imperceptible Visual Tags for Camera Based Interaction from a Distance

    Experiments Using the GNU Software Defined Radio (2005-2009)

    Various experiments using the Software Defined Radio (SDR). Decoding MIT RFID cards using documentation from MIT undergraduates. Exploring the use of SDR for Peak Average Power Reduction in practical systems. Using the SDR for communications packet recovery by exchang- ing information amongst nodes. Resulting publications:

  • Separation of Multiple Passive RFID Signals using Software Defined Radio. Dawei Shen, Grace Woo, Junyu Wang, Andy Lippman and David Reed. IEEE RFID 2009.

  • Beyond the Bits: Cooperative Packet Recovery Using Physical Layer Information. Grace Woo, Pouya Kheradpour, Dawei Shen and Dina Katabi. ACM MOBICOM 2007 in Mon- treal, Canada

  • Fast Active Constellation Extension for MIMO-OFDM PAR Reduction. Brian Krongold, Grace Woo and Douglas L. Jones. IEEE Asilomar Signals, Systems and Computers 2005 in California, USA.

    Extra-curricular Activities

    2017: A simple gift from David J. Brown

  • Regular attendee at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace under the guidance of William Burns since 2015.

  • Chartered Women in Electrical and Computer Engineering as a supporting organization to the larger Society of Women Engineers. Concurrently served as student project chair of IEEE Student Chapter. WECE is still an active organization at U. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign today.

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