Latinas in Computing: Patricia Lopez, Ph.D., Technologist and Inventor

A passion for innovation is something that comes deep from within a person. It isn't something that can be faked or taught in a classroom using textbooks. Of course, you can teach someone to use the tools of successful innovators, but passion for innovation lies dormant until it is tapped, released, or expands on its own.

Dr. Patty Lopez can spot innovation when she sees it and knows what it feels like going through the process.

“Innovation is the talent of taking ideas from disparate fields and integrating them into a unique solution that advances the state of the art. It also involves listening to diverse voices and viewpoints, working through often heated discussions and disagreements that inevitably lead to a better solution,” says Dr. Lopez.

Whether we're talking technology, women in computing, education, or workplace dynamics, Patty Lopez is moving the conversation forward inside organizations and changing the success equations of society.

“In the U.S., we have a narcissistic tendency to seek and value the opinions of others who think like us and avoid those who don't. Our values have become skewed: There is a culture of greed and power that is corruptive and precludes an overwhelming percentage of the world's population from enjoying a standard of living that we take for granted,” Lopez says.

It reminds me of the T-shirt that I used to see so often in college: “He who dies with the most toys wins.”

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