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My name is Dr. Layne Jackson Hubbard and I am an NSF-funded Computing Innovation Fellow, 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.

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.

Read More

Browse through a work sample from my PhD research & design journey.

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 InterfacesCreativity & CognitionHuman Robot Interaction and Intelligent User Interfaces.

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.
A photo of Layne Jackson Hubbard pitching at Catalyze CU's Demo Day. She is standing on a stage with a large projector screen behind. The screen displays a stuffed animal zebra robot.

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

February 2022

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.


Engineering Spotlight

September 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

May 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

November 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

May 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.


First year's robotics work will help kids tell their stories

May 2021

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

August 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

May 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

September 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

March 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.


MindScribe wins the IQ Award for innovation in education

October 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

June 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

May 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

October 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. Listen on Audible.


Get to know the staff: Layne's world

October 2014

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.

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