Coolidge Corner Theatre Brookline, MA


Muriel Médard

Cecil H. Green Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story— A beautiful mind

MIT engineering professor Muriel Medard celebrates Hedy Lamarr's monumental work in science and technology. Part of the 2018 National Evening of Science on Screen.

Coolidge Corner Theatre Brookline, MA

Film Synopsis

This documentary reveals the Hedy Lamarr hidden behind the famously beautiful Hollywood star's glamorous image: a technological trailblazer whose inventions form the basis of modern WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth systems.

Startlet. Screen Siren. The Most Beautiful Woman in the World. All phrases used to describe 1940’s Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr. Alexandra Dean’s illuminating documentary adds Inventor to the list. Known for her matchless beauty and electric screen persona, Lamarr’s legion of fans never knew she possessed such a beautiful mind. An Austrian Jewish émigré who acted by day and drew mechanical and electronic inventions by night, Lamarr came up with a “secret communication system” to help the Allies to beat the Nazis. Weaving in Lamarr’s own voice from archival recordings, Dean reveals how Lamarr gave her patent to the Navy, received no credit for her contributions, and wound up impoverished in her latter years. Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story is a film for lovers of history, Hollywood, and science. 
-Tribeca Film Festival

About the Speaker

Muriel Médard is the Cecil H. Green Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She also leads the Network Coding and Reliable Communications Group at the Research Laboratory for Electronics (RLE). Her work has received many awards and honors, most recently the Edwin Howard Armstrong Achievement Award from the IEEE Communications Society and the Aaron D. Wyner Distinguished Service Award from the IEEE Information Theory Society.

Professor Medard teaches about Hedy Lamarr when she covers spread-spectrum communication in her classes, and the technology is part of her research.