Jeff Lieberman, 2 MScs
Jeff Lieberman, 2 MScs is a musician wrapped in a roboticist
sculptor wrapped in a photographer.
The host of Discovery Channel’s Time Warp may already have four degrees (two bachelors of science and two masters) behind him, but that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing yet another in the form of a doctorate at MIT’s Media Lab. And when he isn’t studying, teaching or filming, Jeff is making music, inventing robotics-related stuff and creating “technological sculpture.”
But it has been a lifelong struggle to get the perfect mix of art and science in his life.
It all started as a kid growing up in Miami, Florida, where Jeff discovered his love for music and the arts. He took up the drums at the age of 6, sax at 11 and piano at 14. But he also liked the sciences, everything from playing with Legos as a kid to making the state ranking in many school math competitions. So, when he turned 18, it was off to MIT, where Jeff gained a double major in physics and math … and also started the improvisational music group Listen-Silence.
Post-graduation, after working at several start-up companies, Jeff decided to focus on the intersection between art and technology and returned to MIT to work at the Media Lab in the Robotic Life Group. There he headed design on the Cyberflora installation, a robotic flower garden that senses and responds to people in a lifelike manner, and the Motor Learning Robotic Wearable Suit, a robotic suit that teaches motor skills (dance, sports, rehab, etc). Jeff has also produced kinetic art sculptures, including Absolut Quartet (winner of the Award of Distinction at Ars Electronica), a music-making machine that incorporates the audience into the performance, and light bulb, an electromagnetically levitated and wirelessly powered light bulb.
In addition to his robotic research (which has been published in several papers and publications) and pursuit of higher learning, Jeff continues to make art. Not only is he a passionate high-speed photographer, but he’s been on several concert and performance tours around the world, even releasing an album with his duo Gloobic.
With all that, we’re not sure where he finds the time to host a TV show, but we’re sure glad he does.
Jeff coauthored Humanoid Robots as Cooperative Partners for People, The Huggable: A Therapeutic Robotic Companion for Relational, Affective Touch, TapTap: a haptic wearable for asynchronous distributed touch therapy, PlayPals: tangible interfaces for remote communication and play, and Tutelage and collaboration for humanoid robots.
Watch One Guest: Jeff Lieberman, Jeff Lieberman – Light Bulb, Wireless Power Transfer Device 2007, Jeff Lieberman & Dan Paluska: Absolut Quartet, 2008, Time Warp: Jeff Lieberman Punched, and Jeff Lieberman. Read his Twitter feed.
In a SnapshotHometown: Miami, Florida
Birthdate: March 1978
Degrees: Four (B.S. in physics, B.S. in math, M.S. in mechanical engineering and M.S. in media arts and sciences)
Pending Patents: System and Method For Device Suspension and Wireless Power Transmission and Motor Learning And Rehabilitation Using Tactile Feedback
Master’s Theses: Teaching a Robot Manipulation Skills Through Demonstration and Accelerated and Improved Motor Learning and Rehabilitation Using Kinesthetic Feedback
Random Fact: Has performed music at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center