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IBM Almaden Research Center
New Paradigms in Using Computers 2004

August 4, 2004 - What can I do with WAY too much information?

Here is information on the confirmed speakers and their talks for NPUC 2004.

Andreas S. Weigend
People and Data: Understanding Customer Behavior

Andreas Weigend, who served as's Chief Scientist until early 2004, shares insights into the behavior of customers on the web. He discusses sources of data in e-business, and shows probabilistic models of user intent that are based on click data. He emphasizes the importance of experiments, and presents a framework for predicting the long-term effects of actions such as promotions. The talk applies social networks theory and behavioral economics to optimize incentives. Examples are given from online retail, online advertising, and online dating sites.
Further information is at

Andreas Weigend Picture

Andreas S. Weigend, Ph.D.

Andreas Weigend has a unique career bridging between the disciplines of computer science, statistics and business in the areas of data mining, machine learning, and time series prediction. His recent work focuses on behavioral modeling in e-business and finance.

As's Chief Scientist, he directed research in data mining, statistical learning, and computational marketing. In 1999, he co-founded Moodlogic and built the prototype for the system that was voted "best music organizer" by C|NET in 2003. He also was the Chief Scientist of Shockmarket Corporation, funded by D.E. Shaw and Deutsche Bank, to create information products and trading models based on real-time data from online brokerages, leveraging principles of behavioral finance.

He has published more than one hundred scientific papers and co-authored six books, including Time Series Prediction (1993) and Computational Finance (1999). He teaches Data Mining and Electronic Business at Stanford University, as well as executive courses on e-commerce and quantitative methods. He currently holds academic positions in the US at Stanford University and at the University of Washington, and in Asia at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and at the National University of Singapore. Previously, he was full-time faculty at New York University's Stern School of Business and at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

He serves on the advisory boards of several startups and hedge funds. His clients include Acxiom, Bank of America, BVCapital, Eventmonitor, Goldman Sachs, Macrovision, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Nikko Securities, PlanetOut, Siemens, UBS, and Yahoo. Details are at

Andreas Weigend studied electrical engineering, physics, and philosophy at Karlsruhe, Cambridge (Trinity College), and Bonn University. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in physics, and was a researcher at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) and at the Santa Fe Institute.

Andrew Tomkins (IBM Research - Almaden)
IBM WebFountain: Approaches to Coping with Way Too Much Web

WebFountain is a platform for analysis of large-scale unstructured data sources including the World Wide Web.  The platform includes infrastructure to acquire billions of documents including web pages, netnews, weblogs, bulletin boards, newspapers, magazines, press releases, and so forth.  Based on user-specific contextual information, these documents can then be analyzed at the page level (for example, by extracting names and locations, or translating between languages), and at the collection level (for example by determining aggregate properties of web sites, or by coalescing and mining all references to a particular company).  The resulting data structures may contain new insights gleaned from the corpus, but users require new approaches to gain access to these insights.  This talk will present an overview of the architecture and mining chain, and a discussion of some of the difficulties that arise in surfacing the new capabilities.

Andrew Tomkins Portrait

Andrew Tomkins

Andrew Tomkins' work focuses on analysis, measurement, and modeling of large-scale unstructured collections such as the world wide web.  He manages IBM's Information Management Principles group at the Almaden Research Center in San Jose, CA.  Concurrently, he is Chief Scientist of WebFountain, an IBM "Emerging Business Opportunity" focused on extending business intelligence by exploiting the vast collections of unstructured information available outside the enterprise.

Dr. Tomkins received his BSc degrees in mathematics and computer science from MIT in 1989, and his PhD in computer science from CMU in 1997.  He has published some 50+ scientific articles in web analysis, theoretical computer science, handwriting analysis, and disk prefetching.  Awards include two best paper awards from the World Wide Web Conference, one for the "bow tie" structure of the web, and another for large-scale automated semantic annotation.

Bonnie DeVarco & Paul Hansen (Geofusion)
GeoCommunication - A New Generation of Location-Aware Visualization Tools

In the past ten years, we have seen the rapid evolution of visualization technologies: social network visualization, knowledge domain "mapping" and other methods of visually aggregating abstract information. At the same time, geospatial imagery and geo-visualization technologies have also increased in sophistication. Both types of tools bring with them the potential to allow users to sift through vast amounts of data to see patterns on any scale. What would happen if location-based and abstract information allowed seamless views of cultural patterns, social networks and Earth information all at once?

Bonnie DeVarco will review next generation knowledge domain visualization tools, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), spatial multimedia and display environments for geo-located information. This will set the stage to introduce a "case-study" -- WorldLink's Interactive Earth Project, whose goal is use the best of geovisualization and innovative curriculum to understand Earth Systems Science and human impact on Earth. Paul Hansen and Chuck Stein founders of GeoFusion, will demonstrate a potential solution, a dynamic spherical environment that allows users to manipulate a digital Earth as a multi-dimensional space for a broad range of data. The Geomatrix engine is the key innovation of GeoFusion, that has the ability to "funnel" huge amounts of data into a viewer's screen, using the background of a fly-through’ scale-independent and ultimately intuitive "natural" environment – Earth. See or

Bonnie DeVarco Image

Bonnie DeVarco

Bonnie DeVarco regularly writes and lectures on emerging technologies in education, virtual worlds, next generation geographic information systems, information visualization and the culture of cyberspace. She is currently Senior Researcher and Project Coordinator for the NSF funded Interactive Earth 2 Project, a next generation interactive for Earth Systems Science led by WorldLink Media, TERC, NASA Goddard and the World Resources Institute (WRI). And for the past five years, she developed and co-directed LinkWorld, a 3D multi-user world for high school students, as part of the Borderlink Project, a federally funded Technology Innovation Challenge Grant.

Ms. DeVarco has served as an education technology consultant to non-profit, corporate and educational organizations for the past 16 years (this list includes PBS, Stanford University, the Center for Innovative Learning Technologies, San Diego and James Burke's Knowledge Web, UC Santa Cruz, UCOP, Smithsonian Institute, DigitalSpace and others). She has helped develop multi-institutional programs for distance and media enhanced learning for the University of California Office of the President and the K-12 as a research and development consultant for the UC College Prep Initiative, one of the first statewide virtual high school programs since 1998.

As a member of the Board of Directors for the Contact Consortium Ms. DeVarco founded the VLearn3D initiative in 1998. Vlearn3D is an international networking hub for educators using multi-user environments to enhance the learning process. She has regularly produced educational events in cyberspace and in distributed physical locations through, UC Santa Cruz's "Tech Innovation" program, UCLA, the Los Angeles Festival, Telascience and the Buckminster Fuller Institute. From 1989 to 1995 she was chief archivist for the Buckminster Fuller Archives, recently acquired by Stanford University. Through, and other non profit organizations and educational institutions, Ms. DeVarco leads efforts to research, explore and develop new opportunities for telecollaboration, visualization, education and environmental action using advanced satellite and network technologies, visualization and open source tools.

Paul Hansen

Paul Hansen has 20 years experience designing, optimizing, and testing hardware and software systems.  Mr. Hansen worked as a graphics software engineer at Silicon Graphics for ten years, and wrote microchip simulations for design verification. He simulated the raster engine for the Elan/Extreme graphics system (RE4), and two chips for the Impact graphics system, the texture engine (TE1) and texture ram (TR1). The experience from these projects gave him an in-depth understanding of computer graphics rendering and texture-mapping processes, as well as a highly developed capacity for extreme optimization. This, along with strong interests in geometry and geography, was a basis for his later invention of the GeoMatrix digital earth system and co-founding of GeoFusion, Inc.

Chuck Stein

Chuck Stein co-founded GeoFusion, Inc. in June, 2001 bringing together his interests in environmental data management, data visualization, and Internet technology.  He received his Bachelors of Science and Masters degree in Computer and Information Science from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1986 and 1989.  From 1990 through 1989 he provided consulting services to the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), NOAA, and other environmental-based organizations.  At NRL he was the Architect, Technical Lead, and Software Development Manager for DoD's Master Environmental Library (MEL) project, an internet-based DoD environmental data discovery and access system ( providing seamless access to Army, Navy, Air Force, and government data centers.  At NRL he also participated in the design, development, and worldwide installations of the Naval Environmental Operational Nowcasting System (NEONS) Environmental Data Management System.

Dr. Kirk Bergstrom

Dr. Kirk Bergstrom is founder and President of WorldLink Media. As a media and software designer, he has developed and produced award-winning television, interactive multimedia, Web sites, museum exhibits, and educational curricula. Dr. Bergstrom served as senior designer of the Interactive Earth CD-ROM and senior editor of the companion curriculum guide for secondary science and geography. He also acted as senior designer of Eye on Earth, an interactive multimedia exhibition on satellite remote sensing and visualization for The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California. His work in interactive media originated in 1982 with the critically acclaimed Los Angeles TeleVote, one of the first large-scale experiments in teledemocracy. In 1985, he was invited by Walt Disney Imagineering to participate in designing future interactive facilities and exhibits for the EPCOT theme park in Florida. Kirk recently wrote and directed the PBS special Power Shift, a half-hour program on energy and sustainability. He also directed and produced Spaceship Earth: Our Global Environment, winner of two national Emmy Awards. Currently, he is directing Interactive Earth 2.0, an NSF-sponsored DVD-ROM, web site, and curriculum project.

Brewster Kahle (Internet Archives)
Universal Access to All Knowledge

The goal of universal access to our cultural heritage is within our grasp.  With current digital technology we can build comprehensive collections, and with digital networks we can make these available to students and scholars all over the world.  The current challenge is establishing the roles, rights, and responsibilities of our libraries and archives in providing public access to this information.   With these roles defined, our institutions will help fulfill this epic opportunity of our digital age.

Brewster Kahle Portrait

Brewster Kahle

Brewster Kahle, Digital Librarian, Director and Co-founder of the Internet Archive (, has been working to provide universal access to all human knowledge for more than fifteen years.

Since the mid-1980s, Kahle has focused on developing transformational technologies for information discovery and digital libraries. In 1989 Kahle invented the Internet’s first publishing system, WAIS (Wide Area Information Server) system and in 1989, founded WAIS Inc., a pioneering electronic publishing company that was sold to America Online in 1995. In 1996, Kahle founded the Internet Archive, the largest publicly accessible, privately funded digital archive in the world. At the same time, he co-founded Alexa Internet in April 1996, which was sold to in 1999. Alexa's services are bundled into more than 80% of Web browsers.

Kahle earned a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1982. As a student, he studied artificial intelligence with Marvin Minsky and W. Daniel Hillis. In 1983, Kahle helped start Thinking Machines, a parallel supercomputer maker, serving there as lead engineer for six years. He is profiled in Digerati: Encounters with the Cyber Elite (HardWired, 1996). He was selected as a member of the Upside 100 in 1997, Micro Times 100 in 1996 and 1997, and Computer Week 100 in 1995.

Deborah L. McGuinness (Stanford)
Explaining Information: Increasing Reliability, Trust, and Reuse

As users (humans and agents) retrieve more information from varied sources, the issue of information quality increases in importance. When should we decide to use (and reuse) information that is obtained from sources such as unknown web applications? This talk will address the issue of explaining answers obtained from diverse sources such as the web. We will describe the explanation needs we have gathered from applications for information analysts reviewing large collections of data that range from unreliable text sources to verified reasoning systems. We will also introduce Inference Web - an explanation infrastructure aimed to increase understanding and trust of answers by providing access to abstractions, explanations, and provenance of information.

Portrait of Deborah McGuinessDeborah L. McGuinness

Deborah McGuinness is the associate director and senior research scientist of the Knowledge Systems Laboratory at Stanford University. She has been working in knowledge representation and reasoning environments for ontology creation and maintenance for over 20 years. She has built and deployed numerous ontology environments and ontology applications, including some that have been in continuous use for over a decade at AT&T and Lucent. She is the co-editor of the W3C Recommendation Ontology Markup Language (OWL) and co-author of the predecessor languages: the DARPA agent markup language (DAML+OIL), OIL, and CLASSIC. She leads the Stanford Explanation and Ontology Evolution Environment efforts. She has published over 100 papers and has authored granted patents in knowledge based systems, ontology environments, configuration, and search technology.

Deborah's consulting business helps companies plan, develop, deploy, and maintain semantic web applications. Some areas of recent work include: ontology environments, search, eCommerce, eHealth, configuration, and supply chain management. She is on the advisory board for Network Inference, Radar Software, Sandpiper Software, and Buildfolio, and recently advised Applied Semantics and Guru Worldwide prior to their acquisitions. Deborah is program chair for the 2004 American Association for Artificial Intelligence conference and she is on the steering board for some other academic organizations including the international organization for description logics(DL), the Semantic Web Science Foundation,, the international organization for knowledge representation and reasoning(KR inc.), and the international conference on conceptual structures(ICCS). Deborah received her Bachelors degree in math and computer science from Duke University, her Masters degree in computer science from Berkeley, and her Ph.D. from Rutgers University.

Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmell (Microsoft Research)
Personal Lifetime Storage with MyLifeBits

MyLifeBits is a lifetime store of everything. It is the fulfillment of Vannevar Bush's 1945 Memex vision including full-text search, text & audio annotations, and hyperlinks. MyLifeBits is both an experiment in lifetime storage and a software research effort.

As an experiment, Gordon Bell has captured a lifetime's worth of articles, books, cards, CDs, letters, memos, papers, photos, pictures, presentations, home movies, videotaped lectures, and voice recordings and stored them digitally. He is now paperless, and is beginning to capture phone calls, IM transcripts, television, and radio.

In this talk, we will demonstrate the software we have developed for MyLifeBits, which leverages SQL server to support: hyperlinks, annotations, reports, saved queries, pivoting, clustering, and fast search. MyLifeBits is designed to make annotation easy, including gang annotation on right click, voice annotation, and web browser integration. It includes tools to record web pages, IM transcripts, radio and television. The MyLifeBits screensaver supports annotation and rating. We are beginning to explore features such as document similarity ranking and faceted classification. We have collaborated with the WWMX team to get a mapped UI, and with the SenseCam team to digest and display SenseCam output.

Gordon Bell

Gordon Bell Portrait

Gordon Bell has been involved with building computer systems since 1959, since graduating from M.I.T. In 1960 he joined Digital Equipment Corporation and was responsible for the first minis and timeshared computers, including the VAX. In 1987 he established the computing directorate at the National Science Foundation and lead the cross-agency group and plan for the first Internet. He is a founder of The Computer History Museum-Mountain View, CA, a Fellow of various professional organizations and a Member of the National Academy of Engineering. Awards include the 1991 National Medal of Technology, an honorary doctorate in engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and the 2001 Eta Kappa Nu Karapetoff Award for lifetime accomplishments. He has written several books about computer systems, and High Tech Ventures(1991) based on his involvement with about 80 startup companies. Since joining Microsoft's Bay Area Research Center as a Senior Researcher in 1995, his work includes scalable computing, telepresence, and cyberizing everything in the MyLifeBits project.

Jim Gemmell PortraitJim Gemmell

Jim Gemmell is a researcher in the Microsoft Research Media Presence Group at the Bay Area Research Center (BARC) in San Francisco. His research interests include personal media management, telepresence, and reliable multicast. He received his Ph.D. from Simon Fraser University and his M. Math from the University of Waterloo. He produced the on-line version of the ACM 97 conference and is a co-author of the PGM reliable multicast RFC. Dr. Gemmell serves on the editorial advisory board of Computer Communications. He is very proud to be organizing the First ACM Workshop on Continuous Archival and Retrieval of Personal Experiences (CARPE2004)

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