James Hendler Receives Service Award at International Semantic Web Conference

March 5, 2024

James Hendler, Ph.D.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s James Hendler, Ph.D., was honored with the Semantic Web Science Association Service Award at the 22nd International Semantic Web Conference. Hendler was recognized for playing a founding role in creating the field, his support for the community, and for his contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially in supporting the advancement of women in the community. The award is the highest in the Semantic Web community.

“It was a big surprise and a great honor to get this award,” said Hendler. “This is only the third time it has been awarded in the 15 years the organization has been in existence. It is particularly meaningful because this award is not given solely for technical contribution, but for helping to build and grow this important research community. I’m grateful that my efforts around DEI and making the community as open as possible are being recognized.” 

At RPI, Hendler is the director of the Future of Computing Institute, Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web, and Cognitive Sciences, and director of the RPI-IBM Future of Computing Research Collaboration.

Hendler is a data scientist with specific interests in open government and scientific data, data science for health care, AI and machine learning, semantic data integration, and the use of data in government. One of the originators of the Semantic Web, he has authored over 450 books, technical papers, and articles in the areas of Open Data, the Semantic Web, artificial intelligence, and data policy and governance. He is also the former Chief Scientist of the Information Systems Office at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and was awarded a U.S. Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Medal in 2002. He is the first computer scientist ever to have served on the board of reviewing editors for Science

In 2010, Hendler was selected as an “Internet Web Expert” by the U.S. government and helped in the development and launch of the U.S. data.gov open data website. In 2013, he was appointed as the Open Data Advisor to New York State and, in 2015, he was appointed a member of the U.S. Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee. In 2016, Hendler became a member of the National Academies Board on Research Data and Information. In 2017, he became a member of the Director’s Advisory Committee of the National Security Directorate of PNNL, and, in 2021, he was appointed chair of the ACM’s global Technology Policy Council. Hendler is a fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Public Administration, the AAAI, AAAS, ACM, BCS, and IEEE.

“Professor Hendler is a visionary in the area of Semantic Web and AI, having first popularized the idea of the Semantic Web in a 2001 article along with Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Ora Lassila,” said Mohammed Zaki, Ph.D., head of Rensselaer’s Department of Computer Science. “It’s great to see him be recognized not just for his research, but also for his efforts in building the entire Semantic Web community.”

Written By Katie Malatino
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