Candice eetimesMy name is Candice H. Brown Elliott.  I’m currently in my early 60’s, married to a very understanding and loving man, and have an adopted daughter, the second of two foster daughters, Cassandra and Liz, both now grown, and five god children, from elementary school to fully grown.  My husband, Jeff, and I live in Northern California, in the Wine Country, north of San Francisco, in an historic house (on the National Register) we have restored with a great deal of sweat equity. If you pass by, you may find me out puttering in my english cottage style garden, tending hundreds of roses, irises, lilies, as well as many flowering annuals sown by seed.





10398525_1116284467975_430389_nI began taking flight lessons in 2003 and just kept on learning and earning certificates and endorsements.  I found flying allows me to escape the everyday concerns of life and renew my spirit.  Now I teach others to fly as a flight instructor (CFI, CFII, MEI).


candicecoverIn my “me” time, I play the Mountain Dulcimer, modern full chording/fingerpicking style, mostly British Isles folk tunes.  I used to play at small festivals and such.  You may listen, should you be interested, to my indie produced cassette tape album of mostly folk music on dulcimer I recorded back in ’89.  (Tap on “Side One” or “Side Two” to listen to the MP3 version.)  Please keep in mind, this is my hobby… I don’t pretend to be a professional.


Comstock-House-inside_sIn the evenings, Jeff and I enjoy our extensive library of slightly over 10,000 print copy books (no exaggeration), surrounded by antiques, living as though it were the turn of the last century.  We share a love of history, but have very different tastes in fiction.  I love Jane Austin, he John Kennedy O’Toole and Eric Kraft.  The house is filled with musical instruments, a ‘parlor grand’ piano, flutes, clarinet, dulcimers, guitars, Irish harp, etc.  In music, I love folk,  musicals, and big band; he likes jazz, opera, and serious art music, as he has degrees in music.  Jeff became a computer programmer after college, later becoming an investigative journalist, then an internet entrepreneur / CEO of a local ISP and an early web-based newspaper.  Now that he is retired he has become a locally respected historian, researching and writing hundreds of articles on local history.  I love my life with him.


Jeff, Kay, Liz, & Reese

Children and young people have been and continue to hold a special place in my heart.  As a teen, in Jr. High and High School, I was a frequent babysitter, volunteer swimming instructor for very young kids for two summers, and even a full-time nanny for a local family with two children my last summer. As an adult, I volunteered through several organizations whose mission is to encourage children and young adults, especially girls, to pursue STEM educations and careers.  I’ve taught STEM classes at a private school.  I’ve been a licensed fostermom in two states, Oregon & California, and most recently served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for a young man in foster care.  (If you are also a foster/adopt parent, then you know the level of scrutiny, background checks, and parenting classes that I had to go through.)


Bhowmik_mobile_9.qxdMy professional career has been in the applied sciences, at the intersection of high technology and psychophysics of human vision, focused on improving color flat panel displays. I was a technical advisory editor for Solid State Technology Journal in the mid-80s.  In 2005 I was inducted as a Fellow of the World Technology Network.  I’m regularly invited to speak at international conferences and universities.  I’ve published papers, journal articles, and contributed a chapter to Mobile Displays – Technology and Applications, a textbook in my field.  I’ve reviewed papers for technical journals as an expert in the field.  I have over a hundred granted US patents and hundreds of foreign cognates in display and semiconductor technology.


SchadeIn 2014, I was awarded the Otto Schade Prize by the Society for Information Display, of which I’m a Senior Member, specifically for my contributions to that field.  OK, so it’s not the Nobel Prize, and it wasn’t all that much money, but its still better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick as my father would say.



When I was a child, my father, a technologist and corporate executive (Vice President R&D, five patents), strongly encouraged, insisted really, brooking no dissent, that I and my siblings study and take every available STEM course (though he had no objections to my personal passion / interest in Individual Voice – singing classes, as he loved to sing as well).  In college, my boyfriend’s mother encouraged me to follow in her footsteps, as she was then the president of the Silicon Valley chapter of the Society for Women Engineers (SWE).  Surrounded as I was by high-tech executives and technologists as neighbors, role models, and mentors, both men and women, I literally, as well as figuratively, grew up in Silicon Valley, bicycling distance from Stanford University, starting my career as a teenaged secretary / administrative assistant for a small high-tech firm, working full-time while I studied part-time, growing my skills and responsibilities as I worked my way through various positions from secretary/admin assistant, electronics assembler, expeditor, supervisor, manager, executive, and finally CEO of a small international corporation (offices in California and Israel).  These days I’m semi-officially retired, though keeping my hand in by being advisor to VC funds and start-up companies.  If I see something truly interesting, I’d join in again full time.


candicecover3To be clear, to set the record straight as some have mischaracterized my skill set, I am not a computer programmer nor an electrical engineer and never have been… in fact all of my formal education (such as it was) was in science not engineering.    Others have mischaracterized me as a “physicist”, likely due to mistaking my undergraduate degree by examination in physics while ignoring my much stronger background and interest and what I actually have built my career on.  No, most of my career was built upon my much stronger interest in biology and psychology, specifically psycho-physics, the branch of biology/psychology that deals with how our nervous systems respond and organize our perceptions of physical stimuli… in my case, vision science, how we perceive color images.  But, my early background as an assembler/clean-room operator and my subsequent experiences managing the development and manufacturing of microelectronics and electronic displays combined with my knowledge of biology and psychology led me to research into how to design and improve color flat panel displays such that they worked in harmony with the human vision system.   Yes, that’s me on the cover of Electronic Engineering Times for a profile article on me and my work to revolutionize the way that color flat panels displays are designed.  One of my female friends from Los Altos High School, who had earned a degree in mathematics and similarly had worked in Silicon Valley as a technologist, joked it was like being on the “cover of the Rolling Stone”… sent five copies to my father.

Speaking of high school friends and classmates, a fair percentage of them, both men and women, earned STEM degrees and/or worked in Silicon Valley from assembler, technician, engineer, marketing, to executives.  One young man who was a senior when I was a freshman at Homestead started a computer company in his garage… Apple.  When you grow up here… it just seems natural to work in tech, like our parents.

I like to quip that half my career was spent in a bunny suit (clean-room garb) and the other half in a business suit.  I know what code looks like, I can follow the logic of well written documentation & high level pseudo-code, having written my share, but don’t ask me to write or debug actual code; beyond very simple code, I can’t.  Trying to keep up with the changing fashions in programming languages and hardware design tools over a long career was not the best use of my time and skill.  But I AM good at systems architecture and understanding the theory of operation of both hardware and software, the big picture that coders and engineers often lose sight of.  I’m primarily a people manager / idea person, not a heads-down engineer.  I have managed programmers and engineers though, just as I have managed clean-room personnel.  I was once asked, decades ago, in an interview if I would rather be around people or machines.  The hiring manager, a woman a decade older, was very surprised when I answered “people”.  I love being around smart, energetic people, so I love both teaching and managing people.

Candice_singingI’ve worked for and even founded several Silicon Valley high-tech start-ups, selling one of them to Samsung, a large Asian consumer electronics company you may have heard of.  There’s a very good chance that you are using the tech, PenTile Matrix, that my amazing team and I developed, as it is shipping in hundreds of millions of smartphones, tablets, notebook PCs, and televisions, each year, most notably in the Samsung Galaxy series and the Apple iPhone X.  The technology consists of novel color subpixel arrangements and a semiconductor chip core that performs digital signal processing and color management based upon insights gained from research on how the human vision system processes images and color.  The technology allows displays to be higher resolution, brighter, longer life, and lower power.

been-there-run-thatI currently serve as an advisor to two venture capital funds that focus on high growth potential start-up companies and serve as a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs through Springboard Enterprises.  (On the flip side, I’ve learned a great deal myself from these inspiring entrepreneurs!)  Kay Koplovitz, the founder of Springboard, collected a series of essays on founding and running start up companies by entrepreneurs into a book, Been There, RUN That and included one of my essays.

All the Stars are Suns ebook completeI recently published a novel using the pen name “Seaby Brown”, the first of many I hope, as my second novel is being edited at this time.  The plot hinges on future advances in understanding the neuro-physiology, the organization and operation, of brains, etc., taking advantage of my interest in biology and neurology.  But seriously, check it out!  You may learn more about the novel and order it from Amazon here.