Lea Verou

Highlights

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Professional experience

Industry

Elected member • W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG)

The W3C TAG reviews new Web technologies, and authors the underlying architectural principles of the Web. It is a small group of only 8 elected and 3 appointed members, including creator of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee.

Invited Expert • CSS Working Group

This is the committee that designs CSS, a technology used on nearly every website in the Web.

Developer Relations • W3C

Educating web professionals about open web standards and facilitating community input for W3C specifications under development.

Speaker, author • lea.verou.me

Speaking, writing, and consulting on open web standards.

Co-founder, CTO, lead web-developer & designer • Fresset Ltd

Created the successful Greek community e-steki.gr, which regularly received over 500K visits and 2.5M pageviews per month. It had 80K registered members, a very high number for a Greek website. As part of my role, I managed interns, one full-time junior developer, and dozens of volunteers.

Freelance web & graphic designer and full-stack web developer

Academic

Instructor (6.S063) • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Second iteration of Design for the Web: Languages and User Interfaces

Instructor (6.S082) • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Co-created and co-taught Design for the Web: Languages and User Interfaces

Instructor (6.813/6.831) • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Co-taught “User Interface Design & Implementation” a mature undergrad/grad course of ~250 students. My 2 co-instructors and I coordinated 9 teaching assistants.

Research Assistant • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

My research lowers barriers for programming Web applications and empowers novices to create web applications tailored to their needs, and has resulted in several peer-reviewed publications at top-tier conferences. As part of this role, I also supervised 10+ undergraduate and 2 graduate students.

Teaching Assistant • Athens University of Economics & Business

Co-developed all material for the “Web Technologies and Programming” 4th year undergraduate course from scratch, taught the labs, lectured the CSS lectures. [Details]

Education

Ph.D in Computer Science (GPA: 5.0/5.0) • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Major: Human-Computer Interaction, Minor: Entrepreneurship & Innovation

M.Sc in Computer Science (GPA: 5.0/5.0) • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Thesis: Creating Interactive Data-Driven Web Applications by Authoring HTML, Advisor: David Karger

B.Sc. in Computer Science (GPA: 8.4/10, top 3%) • Athens University of Economics & Business

Thesis: Dabblet: A visual IDE for rapid prototyping of client-side web development, Advisor: Vasilis Vassalos

Publications

Books

Specifications

Co-editor of several W3C specifications on CSS and CSS-related APIs. CSS is a language used by nearly every website in the world.

In addition to these, I have also proposed and/or helped shape a variety of CSS features defined in other specifications in my 10+ years of being a CSS Working Group member.

Peer-reviewed Research Papers

I have published several peer-reviewed research papers, in top-tier HCI venues, such as ACM UIST and ACM CSCW.

A few notable ones are:

A full list is available on my website.

Articles

I have written articles for some of the biggest Web development industry media, including A List Apart, Smashing Magazine, .net magazine. You can find an (infrequently updated) list on my website.

Speaking

I have given over 100 invited talks in five continents and spoken at some of the most prominent international web development conferences, often as a keynote speaker. These include SXSW, An Event Apart, Future Of Web Design, JSConf (EU & Asia), CSSConf, Web Directions, SmashingConf, FITC, O’Reilly Fluent, Fronteers

My talks get enthusiastic reviews: My “CSS3 secrets” talk was listed in .net magazine’s 15 best talks of 2011. My “The humble border-radius” talk was shortlisted in The net awards 2014 as “Conference Talk of the Year.

For more information, please refer to the “Speaking” section on my website.

Industry recognition

Judging & Reviewing

Industry

Academic

Conference organizing

Selected Open Source Projects

Color.js: Color science based conversion & manipulation library (co-developed with Chris Lilley)

Used to generate most code examples in CSS Color specs. Its results were used as a reference by browser engineers for implementing CSS Color 4 and CSS Color 5. Its API was an inspiration for the Color API.

Mavo: Create complex, reactive, persistent web applications by just writing HTML & CSS, without a single line of JavaScript and no server backend.

My research at MIT. Two peer-reviewed studies indicating that it does indeed help novices develop complex applications. Over 2.5K stars on Github.

Awesomplete: Lightweight, simple, ultra extensible autocomplete

6.9K stars on Github. Featured on Github’s weekly Github Explore newsletter.

contrast-ratio.com: Color contrast calculator

This has since become one of the most popular contrast checkers, and has been featured in numerous books.

Prism: A beautiful, standards-compliant, extensible syntax highlighter

Over 8+ million downloads weekly on npm. Used in big industry websites like Mozilla Developer Network, Google’s web.dev, Sitepoint, Smashing Magazine, A List Apart, CSS Tricks and many others. Over 10K stars on Github

The CSS3 Test: High coverage testsuite for the most stable CSS3 modules.

50,000 unique visitors on its launch. Motivated browser vendors such as Mozilla or WebKit to support more CSS features to increase their scores on it.

dabblet: An interactive CSS playground that saves to Github gists.

Several popular industry media like Wired.com’s WebMonkey, CSS-Tricks, Smashing Magazine and others wrote about Dabblet’s release. During its first month, it received more than 65,000 unique visitors, 15,000 of which during its first two days.

cubic-bezier.com: Direct manipulation of bezier-based easing functions

Featured in numerous books. Code from it was included in Firefox, and Adobe’s Brackets editor.

CSS3 Patterns Gallery: Using CSS3 to generate background patterns

My CSS patterns gallery was featured in Smashing Magazine multiple times and mentioned in conference talks and several books by a number of industry leaders. It was used by Opera Software to fine-tune their CSS gradients implementation.

A lot more of my open source work can be found in my Github profile.

Academic distinctions

2020

Thomas G. Stockam Fellowship Award for excellence in teaching and mentoring undergraduate or graduate students

Invited participant of Dagstuhl 18061: Evidence About Programmers for Programming Language Design

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George and Marie Vergottis Fellowship Award

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Paris Kanellakis Fellowship Award

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Yearly distinctions in the Hellenic Mathematical Society contests, up to 2nd place nationally. Qualification to its premilinary contest for Balkan Mathematical Olympiad in 2004.

Technical skills

I have a broad understanding of the full Open Web Stack of technologies, including:

I also have experience with a wide range of programming languages and technologies, including PHP, SQL, Java and many more.

Languages

Professional interests

Open web standards, user experience, UI design, web development education, front-end web development, API design, web accessibility, technical writing, graphic design, color science, typography

Research interests

Human-Computer Interaction, End user programming, Web architecture, Data visualization