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Balisage 2018 Participant Biographies

Jeffrey Beck
Jeff is a Technical information Specialist at the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the US National Library of Medicine. He has been involved in the PubMed Central project since it began in 2000 and has been working in print and then electronic journal publishing since the early 1990s. He was the leader of the NLM DTD Working Group and is the leader of the BITS Working Group at NCBI. Currently he is co-chair of the NISO Z39.96 JATS Standing Committee, a member of the JATS4Reuse Steering Committee, and is a BELS-certified Editor in the Life Sciences.

Robert A. Beezer
Robert Beezer combined his long-time interest in programming (since 1970) with his long-time interest in teaching university mathematics (since 1978) to author in 2004 an open source linear algebra textbook featuring live embedded computational examples. A structured approach to the material, and numerous technical experiments, led him to start work on PreTeXt in 2013.

Elisa E. Beshero-Bondar
Elisa Beshero-Bondar is a member of the TEI Technical Council, as well as an Associate Professor of English and Director of the Center for the Digital Text at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. Her projects investigate complex texts such as epics, plays, and multi-volume voyage logs, and she is the founder and organizer of the Digital Mitford project and its annual coding school.

David J. Birnbaum
David J. Birnbaum is Professor and Co-Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been involved in the study of electronic text technology since the mid-1980s, has delivered presentations at a variety of electronic text technology conferences, and has served on the board of the Association for Computers and the Humanities, the editorial board of Markup languages: theory and practice, and the Text Encoding Initiative Council. Much of his electronic text work intersects with his research in medieval Slavic manuscript studies, but he also often writes about issues in the philosophy of markup.

Elli Bleeker
Elli Bleeker is a postdoctoral researcher in the Research and Development Team at the Humanities Cluster, part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. She specializes in digital scholarly editing and computational philology, with a focus on modern manuscripts and genetic criticism. Elli completed her PhD at the Centre for Manuscript Genetics (2017) on the role of the scholarly editor in the digital environment. As a Research Fellow in the Marie Sklodowska-Curie funded network "DiXiT" (2013-2017), she received advanced training in manuscript studies, text modeling, and XML technologies.

Abel Braaksma

Abel Braaksma is an invited expert of the XSL and XQuery Working Group and is creator and owner of Exselt, a streaming XSLT 3.0 processor. Besides his XSL work for the Working Group, he runs a consultancy and outsourcing firm Abrasoft, specializing in data aggregation and XML in .NET environments. He has over 15 years experience in XML and related technologies. You can contact him about Exselt or XML, XSLT and C# / F# related inquiries.

Bram Buitendijk
Bram Buitendijk is a software developer in the Research and Development team at the Humanities Cluster, part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has worked on transcription and annotation software, collation software, and repository software.

Hugh Cayless
Hugh Cayless is a Senior Digital Humanities Developer at the Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing (DC3).

Steven J. DeRose
Steve DeRose has been working with electronic document and hypertext systems since joining the FRESS project in 1979. He holds degrees in Computer Science and Linguistics and a Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics from Brown University.

He co-founded Electronic Book Technologies in 1989 to build the first SGML browser and retrieval system, “DynaText”, and has been deeply involved in document standards, including XML, TEI, XPath, XPointer, EAD, Open eBook, OSIS, HyTime, and others. He has served as Adjunct faculty in Computer Science at Brown University and Calvin College, and written many papers and patents, and two books. He works as a consultant in text systems and analytics.

David Dubin
David Dubin is a Teaching Associate Professor at the University of Illinois School of Information Sciences.

Kristen James Eberlein
Kris is the Chair of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee (TC), where she works to set the future direction, growth, and health of the DITA standard. She has been active with the DITA TC since 2007, and has served in several leadership roles: Secretary (2007-2010), Co-chair (2010-2013), and Chair (2014-present). To finance her standards habit, she is the principal consultant with Eberlein Consulting LLC, where she works with companies to develop, refine, and sustain successful (and practical) DITA implementations. She also is co-editor of the DITA 1.2 and 1.3 specifications. Trained as a historian, she’s worn almost all the content worker hats you can imagine: Information developer, team lead, information architect, tool smith … When not herding (technical) cats, she cooks, quilts, enjoys the emerging culinary mecca of Durham, NC, and drives her 2002 Mini Cooper a little too fast.

Tonya R. Gaylord
Tonya R. Gaylord is a Consultant with Mulberry Technologies, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in applications that have a text design, processing, interchange, or display component. Since joining Mulberry in 1997, she has partnered in Document Analysis (information analysis and design) and maintenance of a number of XML applications for users including the federal government (legislative branch), commercial publishers, and professional associations. She has worked on JATS (ANSI NISO Z39.96-2015 Journal Article Tag Suite), BITS (NLM’s Book Interchange Tag Suite), and NISO STS, including doing schema modification and testing, documentation and quality assurance, and Tag Library development. Ms. Gaylord has provided training on XML and XSLT to programmers and documentation specialists. A familiar face at Balisage and its predecessors; her conference participation has included teaching technical tutorials as well as processing the conference proceedings and managing on-site logistics.

Ronald Haentjens Dekker
Ronald Haentjens Dekker is a software architect and lead engineer of the Research and Development Team at the Humanities Cluster, part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. As a software architect, he is responsible for translating research questions into technology or algorithms and explaining to researchers and management how specific technologies will influence their research. He has worked on transcription and annotation software, collation software, and repository software, and he is the lead developer of the CollateX collation tool. He also conducts workshops to teach researchers how to use scripting languages in combination with digital editions to enhance their research.

Betty Harvey
As President of Electronic Commerce Connection, Inc. since 1995, Betty Harvey has led many federal government and commercial enterprises in planning and executing their migration to the use of structured information for their critical functions. She has helped develop strategic XML solutions for her clients. Ms. Harvey has been instrumental in developing industry XML standards. She is the co-author of Professional ebXML Foundations published by Wrox. Ms. Harvey founded the Washington, DC Area SGML/XML Users Group. Ms. Harvey is a member of “The XML Guild” and was a coauthor of the book Advanced XML Applications From the Experts at The XML Guild published by Thomson.

G. Ken Holman
Active in ISO standardization since 1988, Mr. G. Ken Holman has represented Canada in a number of different roles, including International Secretariat for the ISO/IEC committee responsible for SGML and XML, and a working group expert in the ISO/IEC eBusiness committee. A founding participant in the OASIS Consortium in 1993, Mr. Holman has been the founding chairman for a number of technical committees including Code List Representation, XML Conformance and XSLT Conformance, while actively participating in other technical committees. Mr. Holman is the current chair (and XML technology lead) of the OASIS UBL Technical Committee and editor of ISO/IEC 19845 Universal Business Language. As an invited expert to the W3C he was on the committee that created XML from SGML. He is accredited by Canada as an expert contributor to UN/CEFACT. He has been an active editor in the creation and maintenance of a number of ISO/IEC and OASIS specifications, including supporting the publishing process of specifications for both organizations and participating in the definition and support of the OASIS technical committee process. His additional volunteer work includes community-oriented activities near home and humanitarian education work in Africa.

Mary Holstege
Mary Holstege has been developing software in Silicon Valley for decades, in and around markup technologies and information extraction. She currently works at MarkLogic Corporation, where she mainly works on search. She holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Computer Science, for a thesis on document representation.

Jacob Jett
Jacob Jett is a doctoral student at the University of Illinois School of Information Sciences.

Astrid Kulsdom
Astrid Kulsdom is a project manager and researcher in the Research and Development team at the Humanities Cluster, part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. After completing her research Master in Literary Studies at Radboud University in 2012, she has worked as a project manager for several government institutions. As project manager of the Research and Development team, she combines her philological knowledge with her project management skills in order to effectively manage all strands of research within the team.

Deborah A. Lapeyre
Deborah Aleyne Lapeyre is a Senior Consultant for Mulberry Technologies, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in helping their clients toward better publishing through XML, XSLT, and Schematron solutions. She works with Tommie Usdin as architects and Secretariat for JATS (ANSI NISO Z39.96-2015 Journal Article Tag Suite) and BITS (Book Interchange Tag Suite). She teaches hands-on XML, XSLT, DTD and schema construction, and Schematron courses as well as numerous technical and business-level introductions to XML and JATS. Debbie has been working with XML and XSLT since their inception and with SGML since 1984 (before SGML was finalized as an ISO standard). In a previous life, she wrote code for systems that put ink on paper and used, taught, and documented a proprietary generic markup system named “SAMANTHA”. Hobbies, besides Balisage, include pumpkin carving parties.

James D. Mason
James D. Mason, originally trained as a mediaevalist and linguist, became a writer, systems developer, and manufacturing engineer at U.S. Department of Energy facilities in Oak Ridge since the late 1970s. In 1981, he joined the ISO’s work on standards for document management and interchange. He chaired ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34, which is responsible for SGML, DSSSL, Topic Maps, and related standards, for more than 20 years. Dr. Mason has been a frequent writer and speaker on standards and their applications. For his work on SGML, Dr. Mason has received the Gutenberg Award from Printing Industries of America and the Tekkie Award from GCA. He recently retired from working on information systems to support manufacturing and documentation at DOE’s Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Ari Nordström
Ari Nordström is a freelance markup geek, based in Göteborg, Sweden, but offering his services across a number of borders. He has provided angled brackets to many organisations and companies over the years.

Ari is the proud owner and head projectionist of Western Sweden’s last functioning 35/70mm cinema, situated in his garage, which should explain why he once wrote a paper on automating commercial cinemas using XML.

Wendell Piez
Wendell Piez is an independent consultant specializing in XML and XSLT, based in Rockville MD.

C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
C. M. Sperberg-McQueen is the founder and principal of Black Mesa Technologies, a consultancy specializing in helping memory institutions improve the long term preservation of and access to the information for which they are responsible.

He served as editor in chief of the TEI Guidelines from 1988 to 2000, and has also served as co-editor of the World Wide Web Consortium's XML 1.0 and XML Schema 1.1 specifications.

B. Tommie Usdin
B. Tommie Usdin is President of Mulberry Technologies, Inc., a consultancy specializing in XML and SGML. Ms. Usdin has been working with SGML since 1985 and has been a supporter of XML since 1996. She chairs the Balisage conference. Ms. Usdin has developed DTDs, Schemas, and XML/SGML application frameworks for applications in government and industry. Projects include reference materials in medicine, science, engineering, and law; semiconductor documentation; historical and archival materials. Distribution formats have included print books, magazines, and journals, and both web- and media-based electronic publications. She is co-chair of the NISO Z39-96, JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite Working Group and a member of the NISO Board of Directors. You can read more about her at

Raffaele Viglianti
Raffaele Viglianti is a TEI Technical Council member and Research Associate at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland, where he works on a number of digital humanities projects and is the Technical Editor for the Shelley-Godwin Archive. Raffaele’s research revolves around digital editions and textual scholarship, with a focus on editions of music scores.

Norman Walsh
Norman Walsh is a Lead Engineer at MarkLogic Corporation where he helps to develop APIs and tools for the world’s leading enterprise NoSQL database. Norm is also an active participant in a number of standards efforts worldwide: he is chair of the XML Processing Model Working Group at the W3C where he is also co-chair of the XML Core Working Group. At OASIS, he is chair of the DocBook Technical Committee.