Chairman and CEO of Cybernet Systems in Ann Arbor. Jacobus has more than 20 years of experience with interactive computer systems. Before founding Cybernet Systems, she worked at the University of Michigan's Center for Ergonomics, which was funded under a Chrysler Technology Access Fund contract to study graphical displays used in computer-aided workplace design systems. She was also a member of the technical staff at Texas Instruments Inc., where she developed man-machine interfaces for naive users and developed interactive teaching systems. At the University of Illinois, Jacobus investigated the use of color displays for fault-diagnosis applications and received an award for excellence in undergraduate teaching. Prior to that, she developed interactive PLATO teaching systems that introduced beginning FORTRAN programming and operated the Computer Aided Instruction facility at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Jacobus is a director of the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences. She is one of 20 charter members of the National Employers Leadership Council, which provides industrial perspective and support to the Secretaries of Labor and Education on work-force issues for future jobs. She also serves on the board of the Small Business Technology Coalition. Jacobus was elected to the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C., and was recognized by Crain's Detroit Business as one of the most influential women in Michigan. She was a recipient of the “2003 Top Michigan Women in Computing” award, which recognized her leadership, significant career accomplishments, and stature as a positive role model for women. Jacobus received her bachelor's in psychology from Trinity College (Conn.) and her master's in computer science, human-computer interaction, from the University of Illinois, Urbana.

WHERE BORN: "Connecticut."

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "My eighth grade teacher, Jim Parsons. He was my algebra and French teacher, a real character. He allowed me to experiment to do algebra proofs my way – he called it the ‘Heidi method.' It probably was not mathematically correct all the time but the fact that he allowed me to try a different way of thinking… I valued that so much. I had so much fun in that math class. I'd visit him when I'd go back to my home town. Eighth grade is a critical time for kids to move from rote arithmetic to problem-solving in a more elaborate way. I wish every kid could have so much fun."

LAST BOOK READ: "Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin."

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "Focused, analytical, committed, persistent."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "We use electronics, computing, and sensors to support better human performance and decision-making. We have a set of tools to help humans solve harder problems. We solve problems with a multidisciplinary approach. A lot of places will have optical engineers, but at our company we bring in different fields of expertise to solve a problem in a different way."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "iTouch. I use a BlackBerry as a phone but enjoy using iTouch for film and audio clips."

FAVORITE PLACE: "The Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C., which brings together the great scientists of yesterday with the great thinkers of today."


FAVORITE FOOD: "Anything from Zingerman's."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "I'm calm under fire."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "I made the most of the opportunities provided to me."