Keynote Speakers

Monday, May 16th, 8:00 am - Jerry Keesee

Jerry Keesee

Jerry Keesee, Director of Informix Database Development, leads the Informix database portfolio software development efforts. Since joining IBM in 2001, Jerry has led his team in multiple releases of IBM Informix Dynamic Server as well as other products in the portfolio.

Prior to joining IBM, Jerry spent eight years with Informix where he was Vice President of Database Development. Jerry has more than 25 years of experience in leadership roles in the software industry. Jerry received a degree in computer science from Missouri Southern State College.

Monday, May 16th, 6:00 pm - Dr. David A. Ferrucci

Dr. David A. Ferrucci

Dr. David Ferrucci is the lead researcher and Principal Investigator (PI) for the Watson/Jeopardy! project. He has been a Research Staff Member at IBM's T.J. Watson's Research Center since 1995 where he heads up the Semantic Analysis and Integration department. Dr. Ferrucci focuses on technologies for automatically discovering valuable knowledge in natural language content and using it to enable better decision making.

As part of his research he led the team that developed UIMA. UIMA is a software framework and open standard widely used by industry and academia for collaboratively integrating, deploying and scaling advanced text and multi-modal (e.g., speech, video) analytics. As chief software architect for UIMA, Dr. Ferrucci led its design and chaired the UIMA standards committee at OASIS. The UIMA software framework is deployed in IBM products and has been contributed to Apache open-source to facilitate broader adoption and development.

In 2007, Dr. Ferrucci took on the Jeopardy! Challenge. tasked to create a computer system that can rival human champions at the game of Jeopardy!. As the PI for the exploratory research project dubbed DeepQA, he focused on advancing automatic, open-domain question answering using massively parallel evidence based hypothesis generation and evaluation. By building on UIMA, on key university collaborations and by taking bold research, engineering and management steps, he led his team to integrate and advance many search, NLP and semantic technologies to deliver results that have out-performed all expectations and have demonstrated world-class performance at a task previously thought insurmountable with the current state-of-the-art. Watson, the computer system built by Ferrucci's team is now competing with top Jeopardy! champions. Under his leadership they have already begun to demonstrate how DeepQA can make dramatic advances for intelligent decision support in areas including medicine, finance, publishing, government and law.

Dr. Ferrucci has been the Principal Investigator (PI) on several government-funded research programs on automatic question answering, intelligent systems and saleable text analytics. His team at IBM consists of 28 researchers and software engineers specializing in the areas of Natural Language Processing (NLP), Software Architecture, Information Retrieval, Machine Learning and Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KR&R).

Dr. Ferrucci graduated from Manhattan College with a BS in Biology and from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1994 with a PhD in Computer Science specializing in knowledge representation and reasoning. He is published in the areas of AI, KR&R, NLP and automatic question-answering.

Wednesday, May 18th, 8:00 am - Dr. Arvind Krishna and Rob Thomas

Dr. Arvind Krishna

Dr. Arvind Krishna is General Manager IBM Information Management and has responsibility for WW development for Information Management Software within IBM Software Group. Dr. Krishna defines the business & technical strategy, and is responsible for the development, delivery, sales, and ecosystem of the data management segment, a multibillion dollar market for IBM. Previously, Arvind was the VP, Strategy for IBM Software Group. Arvind has been in many other key roles within both IBM Software and IBM Research, e.g. defining and leading the security software segment. Arvind has an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the recipient of a distinguished alumni award from the University of Illinois, and is the co-author of 15 patents.

Rob Thomas

Rob Thomas is Vice President of Business Development in IBM's Information Management Software Division. He is based in Somers, NY, and brings experience in management, business development, and consulting in the high technology and financial services industries. He has worked extensively with global businesses and his background includes experience in business and operational strategy, high technology development and engineering, manufacturing operations, and product design and development consulting. Prior to his current role, Rob lead IBM's Microelectronics business in Asia Pacific. Prior to that, he was an Associate Partner in IBM Global Business Services.

 
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