Alumni Spotlight: Cori Lathan, BCS PhD '94
Corinna (Cori) Lathan, BCS PhD ’94, is the CEO and co-founder of AnthroTronix. She recently published a new book, Inventing the Future: Stories from a Techno-Optimist.
Describe your BCS experience and how it influenced your career.
“My BCS experience provided the foundation for my career. I worked in a multidisciplinary lab in the Center for Space Research, The Man-Vehicle Lab, which has since been renamed the Human Systems Laboratory. Dr. Emilio Bizzi was Chair of BCS at the time and he fully supported my non-traditional path through BCS, which was not without its bumps and bruises. In the end, I spent 6 years at MIT, not only working on my PhD in Neurosystems with a minor in Cognitive Science, but I also completed a master's degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics. This work launched my career, first as a professor, then as an entrepreneur and the relationships that I built at MIT, both personal and professional, continue to this day.”
What is your fondest memory of being at MIT?
“Late night visits to the 24 hour coffee house in the student center, the women of BCS "Gynacogs" social gatherings, and all nighters to publish MIT's alternative newspaper, The Thistle, which I don't think exists and more.”
What inspired you to write your book, and what impact do you hope it has on readers?
“Three things inspired me to write Inventing the Future during the pandemic. I say it is part legacy memoir, part love letter, and part career guide. The ‘legacy memoir’ refers to the fact that after 20 years of running my company AnthroTronix, we were pivoting from an engineering R&D company to a product company and scaling down our operations. So this book is my journey founding and running AnthroTronix and tells the stories of many of the inventions that we developed over the years. The second inspiration, if I can call it that, was the death of both my parents to COVID. My mother to the disease and my father to heartbreak. They were an integral part of my journey, and the book reflects that. The final inspiration was students and young professionals in STEM. My hope is that the book inspires more students to enter STEAM fields and for the young professionals, I want to encourage them in their journey.”