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Lorrie Cranor

Carnegie Mellon Univeristy

Interviewed by Elizabeth Townsend Gard

Date December 2017



The suggestion for Lorrie came to me from an IP colleague at the University of Houston.  Lorrie is the FORE Systems Professor, Computer Science and Engineering & Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.  She is also a quilter.


She also created a password dress and a companion security blanket quilt that was featured in Science magazine.  This ties into her passwords research. (You can even order the fabric at


She also had an exhibit "Computers, Quilts and Privacy" in 2013 at the Frame Gallery on the Carnegie Mellon Campus.  She created quilts on her "staybatical", where she combined her love of quilting with her computer science work.  Here is a sixty-minute video where she discusses more about this project. It's really great.


She has these quilts she calls "Interleave" and they are really cool.  You can get instructions online for free.


In 2016, she was on leave to serve as Chief Technologist for the US Federal Trade Commission : "Cranor has authored over 150 research papers on online privacy and usable security, and has played a central role in establishing the usable privacy and security research community, including her founding of the Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security."

Here is her Spoonflower site for the computer password fabric.













List of Topics

Your life as a quilter in relationship to your professional life

Life after sabbatical in 2012-2013

The process of creativity as a computer scientist and as a quilter

Getting known for quilting

Life at the FTC 

Favorite parts of quilting

Creating fabric at Spoonflower

Inventing tools

Quilt as Art

Scientists and Quilting

Role of IP in your work

Paper Piecing Quilts (and interesting techniques - of cutting away fabric)

When do you Quilt

Inspiration for Quilts/Process

Art Quilts (and contests and touring quilts)

Designing in Powerpoint/Auditioning the Quilting in PowerPoint

Baby Quilts for Practice

Do you always design with the computer first?

Computer Generated Art and Quilts

Children and Quilting

Improv Quilting

Commissioned Works


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