Episode 89: How Do You Make a Brain for a Computer?

Meet the Expert: Lisa Leinbaugh, Electrical Engineer

Lisa Leinbaugh

As a kid, I loved collecting rocks. I still go rockhounding when I can. Rocks are made of minerals. Minerals have amazing crystal structures. I decided to study electrical engineering in college because semiconductors are made from crystals that conduct electricity.

After over six years of college, I earned my masters degree and went to work for a company that makes CPUs, computer brains. At the time, the size of individual circuit lines were 1/100 the width of a human hair. One tiny particle could make the whole CPU fail. My job was to find those particles before they caused problems. I used laser scattering, pattern matching, and high-power microscopes to find particles. I analyzed the data from experiments I designed searching for which equipment caused the particles.

Nowadays, I write books for kids. I always put interesting science in my stories. I live with my husband and three kids in the heart of Silicon Valley in California most of the year. During the summer, we live in a rustic cabin with an outhouse. Her website is lisaleinbaugh.com



Grown your own crystals, so you can understand how silicon crystals are grown. Here is a great resource: https://sciencenotes.org/how-to-grow-crystals/.

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Recommended Reading:


Code This book


Code This!: Puzzles, Games, Challenges, and Computer Coding Concepts for the Problem Solver in You by Jennifer Szymanski









Help Your Kids with Computer Science by DK (Author)

Kids Can Code!: Fun Ways to Learn Computer Programming by Ian Garland

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark (Author), Katy Wu (Illustrator)


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