Sunday, April 13, 2008

My first post

My name is Juan Sequeda and I consider myself a Semantic Web evangelist. I was first exposed to the Semantic Web through Oscar Corcho while I was studying at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, South America. I then transfered to UT Austin to finish my undergrad in Computer Sciences in the Fall of 2006. I will be graduating in exactly 1 month and then starting my Ph.D here at UT Austin under the supervision of Daniel Miranker. My current research area is integration of relational database and ontologies for the Semantic Web.

So enough about me and lets cut to the chase. In the last couple of weeks, I have realized the interest about Semantic Web in the Austin tech community. It all started when I met Casey Grooms and his start-up idea. Through him, I got in contact with several more entrepeneurs in Austin including John Erik Metcalf and John De Oliveria. John Erik is leading a co-working company in Austin called Conjunctured which will finally allow techy and entrepreneurs in Austin get together in a common place and "exercise their minds". JohnDeo is the founder of Cyc Foundation, which gives access to the Cyc Knowledge Base. Anyways, a couple of weeks ago I got an email about a Semantic meetup. I was excited because I was looking forward to meet more people in Austin who are interested in Semantics. At that meeting JohnDeo told us about Cyc's monthly meetup to discuss the Semantic Web. 

Last week several of us got together at the Cyc headquarters and had a teleconference with Mike Bergman, the CEO of Zitgist who showed us is UMBEL project. At the beginning, this was hard to understand, but after looking at a visual example, it all came together. UMBEL can be considered the way to create an upper ontology for all the ontologies used in the Linked Data cloud. And the cool thing, is that it uses Cyc's Knowledge Base. Therefore, Austin will be the center of a lot of new and cool Semantic Web applications. 

At the end of our meeting, John Erik announced that he wanted to get all the young entrepreneurs together to explain them what the Semantic Web is and what it can accomplish. I truly believe this is the start of something big in Austin.

Therefore I will keep up to date any events that we will be having in Austin, and also share interesting links, ideas, projects about the Semantic Web.

lets start...


#$JohnD said...

Glad to see you getting this going. I'm looking forward to the focus and skills of folks in the Austin area putting our mark on the Semantic Web.

jmetcalf27 said...

this is awesome man. Austin has some serious potential re semantics. it needs a front runner, a face to the scene. DO IT! :) see ya soon d00d