Researchers at AT&T laboratories use their backgrounds in math and science and their passion for innovation to change people's lives with technology. In this video, AT&T researcher Kevin Li discusses how he works to improve road safety with smart tech, like vibrating motors in car seats that warn drivers of potential dangers.

Li's fun and rewarding job at AT&T wouldn't be possible without an education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have donated nearly $87 million to support STEM initiatives since 1995, including scholarship programs, hands-on technology labs and science-focused summer camps for at-risk youth.

"I realized I wanted to go into engineering research when I was at this poster session at a conference, and saw all the different kinds of cool technologies that people were working on with gadgets and new ways of interacting with technology," says Li.  "It wasn't until that point that I realized, 'Hey, you can actually solve a lot of real world problems.' For me, that's when I realized that this is what I want to do for a career."

For kids who want to be among the leaders in cutting-edge technology when they grow up, Li has some simple words of advice.

"Be curious. You never know what might actually turn into a career path. Get outside your comfort zone. iIt may turn out that something you're really excited about could turn into a career, and if you're lucky, you could actually improve people's lives."

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AT&T Cool Jobs: Changing lives and improving safety with cutting-edge technology
For AT&T researchers, solving real-world problems like automobile safety starts with a sense of curiosity.