Conference Faculty

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Dean Allemang,Chief Scientist, TopQuadrant Inc.

He brings to this tutorial workshop four years experience teaching semantic technologies in TopQuadrant’s highly successful Semantic Technology Training series. As a Semantic Web expert, he integrates into TopQuadrant’s products and services more than 15 years experience in research, deployment and development of knowledge-based systems. Though he is the one running TopQuadrant’s semantic web training course, he learns more from the students than they ever guess. Synergistic with insights gained and content from the course, Dean is currently writing a book with Jim Hendler on Semantic Modeling using RDFS and OWL. His laptop is full of Semantic Web software, and he even knows how to use more than half of it.

“It’s an exciting time,” says Allemang, “for those of us who have been fans of abstraction for the past three decades.” Dr. Allemang was awarded his PhD in AI in 1990, worked at five different AI labs in Europe between 1990-1996, and co-founded a company in the mid-90s that tried to invent the Semantic Web when the standards were just a gleam in the eye of a few W3C folks.

Dr. Melliyal Annamalai, Principal Product Manager, Oracle

She is a member of the W3C Semantic Web and Outreach Group and was a member of the W3c Multimedia Semantics Incubator Group. Her responsibilities at Oracle include understanding customer requirements and helping them use Oracle Database Semantic technology in their applications.

Dr. Soren Auer, Researcher and Author, University of Pennsylvania

Soren Auer leads the research group Agile Knowledge Engineering and Semantic Web (AKSW) at the department Business Information Systems (University of Leipzig) and collaborates with the database research group at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. Soren is founder of several high-impact research and community projects such as the Wikipedia knowledge extraction project DBpedia, the open-source innovation platform, or the social Semantic Web toolkit OntoWiki. His latest project – – provides a building block for the semantification of Web applications such as the million times deployed Drupal, WordPress or MediaWiki. Triplify is a small plugin, which reveals the semantic structures encoded in relational databases by making the database content available as RDF, JSON and Linked Data.

Michael Bergman, CEO, Zitgist LLC

He previously founded and was CEO of the two software companies, BrightPlanet and VisualMetrics. Mikes professional focus for the past 15 years has been the integration and inter-operability of unstructured, semi-structured and structured data. He is a noted author and wrote the first definitive study on the deep Web, a term he coined. A more detailed bio is on his Web site, AI3,

Taylor Cowan, Emerging Solutions Principal, Sabre Holdings

He is actively pursuing applications of semantic web technology for the travel industry within Sabre Labs and is intimately familiar with many challenges facing online travel.

Richard Cyganiak, Engineer Researcher, Digital Enterprise Research Institute

Richard Cyganiak is a researcher and engineer at Sindice, a Web of Data search engine built at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute in Galway, Ireland. Richard is a leading expert in the Linked Data area. He has co-authored several foundational documents of the Linked Data field, including the W3C’s Cool URIs for the Semantic Web, and the tutorial How to publish Linked Data on the Web. He is creator or main contributor to a number of widely-used Linked Data related open- source projects, including the database-to-RDF mapper D2RQ, the Linked Data server Pubby, the RDF Schema editor and publishing system Neologism, and the Semantic Web browser Disco. Richard is a fellow of the Web Science Research Initiative.

Stefanos Damianakis, President & CEO, Netrics

Stefanos Damianakis is president and CEO of Netrics, as well as a prominent technology thought-leader in intelligent data matching technologies. Stef brings nearly 20 years of experience in scientific research and business management to Netrics, leveraging his unique skills in technology transfer to lead the overall strategic direction of the company and guide the ongoing development of the Netrics product line. Prior to joining Netrics, Stef worked at prestigious research institutions, including the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, NEC Research Institute, Panasonic Research Labs and Princeton University. Stef holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Computer Science from Princeton University and a B.S. degree in Computer Science from McGill University.

Ian Davis, Chief Technology Officer and Director, Talis Group

Ian joined Talis in June 2005 having worked as an independent technology consultant since 1995. During that time as well as consulting for multi-national corporations including Sony and Worldcom he founded three technology start-ups in the areas of large scale search, syndication and semantic web architectures. Ian is responsible for Talis’ Platform division, engagement with the developer community and coordinates involvement with standards bodies. Ian holds a BSc in Theoretical Physics, from the University of London.

Rebecca Dias, VP of Software Development, SynapticMash

Rebecca is Vice President for Software Development at SynapticMash, a startup building a next generation learning management system and professional development portal for educators. Rebecca has been key contributor in industry developing technologies that have become what is now the foundation for Web 2.0 and Social Networking. Formerly at Microsoft, she launched major products for the Windows Communication Framework and System Center, drove what became Microsoft’s most active developer portal on TechNet, and architected a solutions-focused track of 24 talks on connected systems for Microsoft’s largest developer conference, Tech Ed. While at Microsoft, Rebecca also drove strategic planning for a mature, growing multi-billion dollar IT Management business, emphasizing device management and datacenter automation.

Seth Earley, President, Earley & Associates, Inc

Seth Earley has been implementing content management projects for 14 years and been in the technology field for 20+ years. He is founder of the Boston Knowledge Management Forum and co-author of Practical Knowledge Management from the IBM Press. He is former adjunct professor at Northeastern University, where he taught graduate courses in Knowledge Management Infrastructure. Seth has developed content strategies for global organizations and developed underlying taxonomies for a diverse roster of Fortune 1000 companies. He is a speaker and workshop leader at conferences throughout North America speaking on content management systems and strategy, taxonomy development and related topics.

Jay Fichialos, Director of Ideation and Experience, Travel Studios

Taylor Cowan and Jay Fichialos will present this session based on their collaboration in the conception and development of Tripblox and other projects. Taylor is a specialist in Java and semantic web technologies. His current interests are applying microformats and RDF to travel planning websites. Jay is an accomplished interaction designer and research scientist. His most recent work has been centered around enterprise social networking.

Tom Heath, Researcher, Talis Information Ltd

Tom Heath is a Researcher at Talis, one of the primary UK companies working in the Semantic Web/Linked Data field, and a PhD candidate at The Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute. He has been a member of the Linking Open Data project since its inception, developing the linked data-based reviewing and rating site, winner of the 2007 Semantic Web Challenge. Tom co-authored the tutorial “How to Publish Linked Data on the Web”, the primary resource for Linked Data publishers, and has spoken on the subject of Linked Data at a number of conferences, including www2007 and WWW2008.

Kingsley Idehen , President and CEO, OpenLink Software Inc.

Kingsley Idehen is the founder and CEO of OpenLink Software Inc. He is an industry-acclaimed technology innovator and entrepreneur, and one of the very few individuals who have actively participated in standards compliant technology innovation across several eras ranging from early Data Access Middleware and Database Virtualization, to XML-based Web Services and Web 2.0, and now to the Semantic Web. He is also one of the handful of founding CEOs from the early ’90s who remain at the helm of the companies they founded.

Paul Lipton, Sr. Architect, IP & Standards, CA, Inc.

Paul Lipton is a Senior Architect in the CA Intellectual Property and Industry Standards Group where he plays a leadership role in industry standards, open source, and emerging technology. Paul has been an architect and developer of enterprise systems for over 20 years and has also focused on SOA, Web services, virtualization, social computing, and innovation. He has participated in many standards organizations such as OASIS and the W3C, is a founding member of the CA Council for Technical Excellence, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, and a Sun Java Champion. He is a highly sought-after author and speaker, and has shared his knowledge with appreciative audiences around the world covering such topics as Enterprise Architecture, SOA, Web services, management/security, governance, Java, .NET, EAI, and emerging technologies.

Jim Melton, Standards Maven, Oracle USA

Jim has been the SQL standard editor for more than two decades, and has published five books addressing that standard. He helped develop SQL/XML, specifying technology for effectively using SQL and XML together. Jim is Co-Chair of the W3C’s XML Query WG and an editor of several specifications associated with XQuery. In 2006, he published (with Stephen Buxton) “Querying XML: XQuery, XPath, and SQL/XML in Context”. Jim is a frequent speaker at conferences on subjects related to the Web and its underlying technologies. His attention has turned to the Semantic Web and problems of integrating disparate data (semi-)automatically.

Ken North, President, Ken North Computing LLC

Ken North is an author, speaker and consultant. His teaches Expert Series seminars and his articles have appeared in dozens of computing industry publications. Ken has organized and moderated expert panels at dozens of software, database and IT events in Europe and North America.

Uche Ogbuji, Partner, Zepheira

Uche Ogbuji is a Computer Engineer specializing in the integration of next-generation Web systems with established enterprise technology. He’s a leading expert in data design and distributed systems, having worked with XML, RDF and Web Services since the inception of those technologies. He co-develops 4Suite, an open-source platform for XML and RDF processing. He’s lead designer of the Versa RDF query language and several other influential technical reports. He’s a columnist for IBM developerWorks, Application Development Trends and He has written over 300 articles on XML, Web Services and RDF in recognized publications, and speaks extensively at conferences worldwide.

Nikita Ogievetsky, Vice President, Morgan Stanley

Nikita Ogievetsky is a head of Common Business Components at Morgan Stanley GWMG. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Nikita advised top Finance, Publishing and Manufacturing companies as an expert in Information Architecture, Data Modeling and Knowledge Sharing and Visualization. He leads the community in finding simple solutions for real-life-problems on the enterprise scale. Nikita contributed to the XTM 1.0 specification and is a founding member of TopicMaps.Org. He is a regular presenter on international conferences, and has numerous publications on the subjects of XML, XSLT, Knowledge Technologies, and general computer science. As an author, he has contributed to a number of magazines and books including XML TopicMaps and XSLT Cookbook and Advanced XML Applications from the Experts at The XML Guild.

Eghosa Omoigui, Director, Strategic Investments, Consumer Internet & Semantic Technologies, Intel Capital

Eghosa Omoigui is the Technical Assistant to the President of Intel Capital. As Chief of Staff for the worlds largest corporate technology investing organization, he assists the ICap President in day-to-day operations and strategic planning, setting and implementing overall org strategy, direction and execution, and maintaining the organizations visibility and ecosystem leadership worldwide.

John Pallatto, West Coast News Editor, eWEEK

John Pallatto is the West Coast News Editor for eWEEK. He has nearly 30 years of experience as a professional journalist including work with the Hartford Courant newspaper in Hartford , Connecticut with computer technology trade journals. He was a member of the staff that launched PC Week in March 1984. From 1992 to 1996 he was PC Weeks West Coast Bureau chief. From 1996 to 1998 he was a senior editor with Ziff-Davis Internet Computing Magazine. From 2000 to 2002 Pallatto was West Coast bureau chief with Internet World Magazine.

Dave Pearson, Vice President , Oracle

Dave Pearson is a vice president in the Global Technology Business Unit for Oracle Corporation. He provides support for global marketing and sales for Oracle’s Grid, SOA and virtualization solutions. He has been actively involved Grid standards organisations for the last five years and is a former chair of the OGF working group on Database Access and Integration Services. He has worked for Oracle for 20 years. As a consultant he carried out assignments in all industry sectors before heading technical and architectural consulting practices in the UK and in Oracles EMEA divisional. Prior to joining Oracle he worked in the oil industry developing data integration and visualisation applications to support exploration and production processes. He holds a BSc in Geology from Durham University and carried out postgraduate research at Imperial College, London.

Walter Perry, Managing Director, Fiduciary Automation

Walter Perry, PhD. has more than 20 years experience in solving data integration problems. At Fiduciary Automation he designs, implements and (most crucially) maintains systems for compliance and tax reporting of transnational financial transactions. By their nature these transactions span widely varying systems and software, but also regulatory philosophies and jurisdictions as well as divergent cultural and business practices. Fiduciary Automation’s solutions have been entirely markup-based for 10 years and in the past two years have been grounded in a semantic-, rather than a syntactic-based philosophy of integration.

Irene Polikoff, Executive Partner, TopQuadrant Inc.

Irene Polikoff is an executive partner and co-founder of TopQuadrant, the first US company established to help customers implement solutions to business problems using the Semantic Web standards and technology. Over the last six years Irene has been involved in more than a dozen projects, both with government and with commercial organizations. She has written strategy papers, trained customers on the use of the Semantic Web standards, developed ontology models, designed solution architectures and defined deployment processes and guidance. With the evolution of TopQuadrant from a technology consultant to a technology provider, Irene has been playing an active role in requirements and design of TopQuadrant’s Semantic Solution Platform – TopBraid Suite. Before starting TopQuadrant, Irene was a principal in the national Knowledge, Content Management and Portals Practice in IBM Global Services. Prior to that she was a senior development manager and a project executive for IBM worldwide consultant’s tools and methods. Irene can be reached at: irene (at)

Barak Pridor, CEO, Thomson Reuters ClearForest

Barak joined ClearForest as its CEO in early 2000 and has since been actively involved in the evolving Text Analytics market and its applications in both Business Intelligence and Information Retrieval. The company maintains a list of blue chip customers that include Dow Chemical, The World Bank, Procter and Gamble and Glaxo Smithkline. ClearForest was acquired by Reuters in June of 2007, as the core element in developing context as an asset that is derivable from Reuters’ content. Barak now leads that strategy for Reuters. At the end of 2007, after living in the US for 8 years, Barak moved back to Israel with his wife and two sons.

Dr. Andy Seaborne, Research Scientist, Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratories

Andy Seaborne is a member of the Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratories Semantic Web group and represented HP on the W3C RDF Data Access Working Group where he was co-editor of the SPARQL query language specification. He is also a contributor to the Jena open source semantic be framework, working on all aspects of the SPARQL implementation. Originally with a MA in Mathematics and PhD in Computer Science from Cambridge University (UK), he is currently interested in the application of the semantic web to enterprise information systems.

Alex Spinelli, Chief Technical Officer, Reuters News

Alex Spinelli is the CTO, Reuters News. He responsible for technology and operations for the creation and distribution of Reuters’ news, reporting to the company’s COO. Previously Alex served as CTO and a senior technology executive for financial services and media companies such, AXA Technology and Viacom.

Marcus Trevisani, CTO, Relevant Digital

Starting in the mid nineties, I developed digital asset management system as CTO for an Los Angeles based Web services firm using methods very similar to what would result in being Semantic Web. Throughout this decade, in various CTO/VP Engineering positions I have focused on developing technologies for media search, recommendations systems and matching systems. In 2005 I formed Relevant Digital, and New York company that specializes in Semantic Discovery systems. I have been working with Semantic Technologies through out this decade and they are the sole focus of our company.

Paul Wlodarczyk, VP of Solutions Consulting, North America, JustSystems

Paul helps JustSystems clients compete through content. With more than 25 years of specialized experience in enterprise content management, knowledge management, and software development, Paul leads and supports engagements that require analysis and improvement of content lifecycles workflows that span the creation, review, localization, publishing, reuse, management, analysis, and visualization of business content. Prior to JustSystems, Paul spent more than 18 years at Xerox Corporation, most recently as a Service Line Manager and Principal Consultant for a content lifecycle consultancy with Xerox Global Services, and in various operations roles in knowledge management, technical publishing, localization, and software engineering.