Maribeth Back is a technology researcher and designer. She builds real-world, socially informed exploratory applications for new technologies. As a senior research scientist at FXPAL and Xerox PARC, her methodology has been creating robust working prototypes that employ innovative ideas and technology, and then testing them with proven user-centered evaluation techniques. Research areas include 3D virtual environments, augmented reality, applied ubiquitous computing, and audio systems design and engineering. Her work has included: Virtual environment applications for the enterprise Augmented reality interfaces for factories and for museum exhibits Interfaces and social system design for wireless and mobile systems Usable ubiquitous computing systems for next-generation conference rooms Innovative reading devices for assisted and general reading User-centered design analysis and contextual evaluation Sound design and audio engineering for interactive and augmented environments Informatics design for advanced medical research systems Back completed her doctorate at Harvard's Graduate School of Design in May 1996, and spent more than five years in ubiquitous computing research at Xerox PARC. Currently she heads the Usable Smart Environments group at FX Palo Alto Laboratory, working on usability in ubiquitous systems for conference room environments.