About me

I have great enthusiasm for learning and sharing my excitement about different ideas and experiences. Exploring the nuances of how people think has animated my entire life. I almost became a clinical psychologist, but turned down the PhD program at University of Michigan at Ann Arbor having been drawn to technology and entrepreneurship. I love listening to people's life stories.

My wife inspires me and brings the best out in me. I'm a pretty lucky guy.  She makes it all worthwhile.

Most of my professional life has included the craft of creating complex software.  I don't view myself as a programmer just as in the same way that a historian does not view themselves as a writer.  For me, the creation of software is a form of expression, but my work is focused on applying linguistics and cognitive science to problems that are worth solving.

The combination of my immersion in software architecture and  technology and my strong analytic skills - my greatest talent - allows me to take complex situations and devise elegant and practical solutions. I pride myself at having created great value for many A-list clients.

I care about many issues deeply. I hate how political discourse has largely been hijacked by extremes with little ability to compromise or synthesize better ideas. Particularly distressing is an increasing disdain for science, or even facts, in the public sphere. I sign a lot of petitions, write a lot of emails, and make some phone calls. I think this is how participants in a representative democracy should act.

I am the president of a new company, Headspace Sprockets, LLC.  We are flying under the radar at the moment but very active in creating and extending our technology, adding customers, and building the organization. 

I was the president of Arity Corporation from 1984 until last year. Arity transformed over the years but was always delivering solutions based on cutting edge technology.  We were best known for the Arity/Prolog family of products and created high value solutions for A-list clients.

Some areas of my expertise are:

  • Natural Language Processing and Information Extraction algorithm design and implementation. I created parsers, grammars, and semantic analyzers for shallow and deep analysis for systems licensed to Pfizer, Elsevier, and others.  Invented novel parallel algorithm for Feature Logic inference used in deep parsing and semantic processing.
  • Knowledge Representation and Reasoning technologies including implementation of Description Logic reasoners; OWL 2, EL++, RDF, and ontological inference and reasoning.  I have  focused on practical applications of KR&R as embedded functions in licensed products.
  • Recommendation Systems.  I have architected, selected and devised algorithms for semantic and temporal-spatial matching and indexing.  Applications have included travel, jobs and dating Web sites.
  • Statistical Inference and Pattern Algorithms.  Implemented pattern algorithms (abduction, induction, clustering, classification) including kernel methods such as SVMs with application to commercial problems.

A few sundry highlights about my background include:

  • I have S.B. and S.M. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in interdisciplinary science.  Most of my undergraduate work was in math and physics.  Most of my graduate work was in modeling complex systems, including taking the full PhD sequence in statistics.  I studied at Sloan School of Management, most memorably system dynamics from Peter Senge. My thesis was on modeling interpersonal conflict using a novel dynamical approach.
  • Authored papers for ECCB and W3C presentations. Lectured on Learning Systems.
  • Employee #12 at Lotus Corporation; I was the Development Manager for the first two versions of Lotus 1-2-3™, Started and spun out Lotus’s Advanced Development Group to form Arity.
  • Architect and lead developer of the Arity/Prolog™ family of products, sold extensively in 55 countries.
  • Expert in current Web technologies (HTML5, CSS3, AJAX, socketIO,  MVC architecture, MongoDB,  node.js,  nginx, etc.). Expert in Web language use and implementation, including V8 internals. Architect and lead developer of Headspace Sprocket’s platform and ecosystem.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?

But if I am only for myself, what am I?

And if not now, when?

- Hillel