PANEL: Wikis and Semantics
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  Mark Greaves   Mark Greaves
Director, Knowledge Systems
Vulcan Inc.
  Joel Natividad   Joel Natividad
CEO & Co-founder
  Denny Vrandecic   Denny Vrandecic
Project Director
Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.
  Mike Madison   Mike Madison
Web Application Designer
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  Stephen Larson   Stephen Larson
CEO, Senior Consultant, Founder
MetaCell LLC


Wednesday, June 6, 2012
09:45 AM - 10:45 AM
Level:  Technical - Intermediate

Location:  Plaza A

Semantic technology has recently emerged as a powerful accelerator for social technologies. The potential is clearest at the intersection of wikis and semantics. Traditional wikis are some of the most successful platforms in existence for knowledge management and at creating consensus. Adding semantic technologies can boost both the range of items that users can collaborate over, as well as the depth of this collaboration. Further, combining wikis with semantics promises capabilities that are not possible in traditional wikis, such as crowd-based authoring of structured knowledge and socially-driven mashups. In this session, the panelists will discuss their experiences with combining wikis and semantic technology. The session will include live examples of different wikis, drawn from neuroscience, open government data, knowledge management, and other areas.

Mark Greaves is Director of Knowledge Systems at Vulcan Inc., the asset management company for Paul Allen ( He is sponsoring advanced research in large knowledge bases and semantic web technologies, including semantic wikis and business rules for the semantic web. Formerly, Mark was at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the central research and development organization of the US Department of Defense. At DARPA, he served as Director of the Joint Logistics Technology Office, and Program Manager in the Information Exploitation Office. He managed a variety of DARPA projects, including the US flagship R&D program in Semantic Web, DAML. Prior to coming to DARPA, Mark worked on advanced programs in software agent technology at the Mathematics and Computing Technology group of Boeing Phantom Works.

A 20-year IT veteran, Joel has been involved in a multitude of projects, primarily in bioinformatics, lifesciences, finance, knowledge management and smart cities. After winning in NYCBigApps Challenge in 2011, Joel co-founded Ontodia to use semantic technologies in enabling the "smart" in smart cities. Previously, Joel headed the Knowledge Engineering practice of TCG for four years, implementing semantics at several Fortune 1000 companies.

Denny Vrandecic is project director of the Wikidata project at Wikimedia Deutschland. He received a PhD at the Institute AIFB at the Karlsruhe Institue of Technology KIT and was a researcher at the Laboratory of Applied Ontology LOA in Rome and the Information Sciences Institute ISI at the University of Southern California USC in Los Angeles. He co-developed Semantic MediaWiki, consulted Freebase, was the founding administrator of the Croatian Wikipedia, and founding member of the Wikimedia Research Council. He currently lives in Berlin.

Mike Madison graduated from Indiana University in 2009 with a masters of science in Human Computer Interaction Design. Currently, he is the project manager for the Knowledge Encapsulation Framework (KEF), a semantically powered collaborative environment developed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. He regularly consults as both a web anduser experience designer on a variety of projects in a wide range of domains. His current research interests include the semantic web, social media, and interactions between design and agile development processes.

Stephen D. Larson is interested in how computer systems can help us to understand fundamental principles of life. His background includes a bachelor of science and master of engineering from MIT in computer science as well as a Ph. D in neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego. He spent several years building large-scale software systems in information technology at Morgan Stanley in New York City. He has developed a patent, presented at more than two dozen forums, published in academic journals such as Frontiers in Neuroscience and Nature, and has had his work featured in the New York Times, Wired, Discover, and He spends his time actively seeking new models of collaboration for scientific development as a project scientist at the University of California, San Diego, and CEO and Founder of a biological informatics company. Stephen currently serves as the Chief Information Officer for One Mind For Research.

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