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Balisage 2019 Participant Biographies

Syd Bauman
Syd Bauman was introduced to the world of markup languages through the world of computer typesetting. He became interested in SGML just prior to its publication in 1986, but did not start seriously engaging with it until late 1990 when he started working with TEI P1.1. He has since become immersed in markup, XML, and TEI.

Syd is a Senior XML Programmer/Analyst at the Women Writers Project, part of Northeastern University’s Digital Scholarship Group, where he does not actually do much programming. When he does it is usally XSLT designed to read TEI. But regardless of language, Syd’s programs are always copylefted.

Syd often teaches XML, TEI (in particular, TEI customization), and XSLT. He served as the North American Editor of the TEI from 2001 to 2007, and has been an elected member of the TEI Technical Council since 2013.

David J. Birnbaum
David J. Birnbaum is Professor and 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 Technical 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.

John M. Boyer
John Boyer is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and Master Inventor. He joined IBM in 2005 via its acquisition of PureEdge Solutions. While at PureEdge, John undertook graduate studies in theoretical computer science, earning his Ph.D. in 2001 from the University of Victoria. John has over two dozen refereed journal and conference publications, over 30 granted patents, and numerous other publications of professional articles and industry standards. John has served as Chair of the XForms working group, Editor of XForms, and Editor or Co-author of XML Signatures, XML Canonicalization, and related W3C Recommendations.

Hugh Cayless
Hugh Cayless is Senior Digital Humanities Developer at Duke University, where he provides architecture, design, and programming support for the Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing (DC3). He has served as an elected member of the TEI Technical Council since 2012 (as its Chair from 2015-2017), and he is a founding member of the EpiDoc Collaborative. Hugh earned a PhD in Classics and an MSIS, both from UNC Chapel Hill. His research interests focus on digital critical editions and Linked Open Data.

John J. Chelsom
John Chelsom is CEO of Seven Informatics Ltd. He trained as an electrical engineer before gaining a PhD in artificial intelligence in medicine. He has been a Visiting Professor in Health Informatics at City University, London and the University of Victoria, Canada. As Managing Director of CSW Group from 1993 to 2008, John was responsible for implementation of XML workflow and production systems for many major organisations, including the British Medical Journal, Jaguar Cars and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

The Case Notes product developed by CSW was based on XML and other open standards. In 2003 the UK government chose Case Notes as the primary clinical system in the national architecture for a shared electronic health record covering the 55 million citizens in England. In 2000, John founded the XML Summer School and continues as a board member and lecturer in this annual event.

Since 2010 he has been the lead architect of the open source cityEHR product — an XRX (Xforms, REST, XQuery) health records system currently used in a number of hospitals in England.

Ashley M. Clark
Ashley M. Clark is XML Applications Developer for the Northeastern University Women Writers Project and the Digital Scholarship Group.

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.

Eliot Kimber
Eliot Kimber has been working with and thinking about hyperdocuments for a very long time, first in his role as a technical writer and writing tool implementor at IBM and then as an SGML and XML consultant. Eliot was a co-editor, with Dr. Charles Goldfarb and Steven Newcomb, of HyTime 2nd Edition (ISO/IEC 10744-1996), a founding member of the W3C XML Working Group, and a founding and current member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee. Eliot lives and works in Austin, Texas.

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 Z39.96-2019 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.

Joshua Lubell
Joshua Lubell is a computer scientist in the NIST Engineering Laboratory’s Systems Integration Division. His interests include model-based engineering, cybersecurity, cyber-physical systems, long-term preservation of digital data, information modeling, and XML and other markup technologies. He received the United States Department of Commerce Silver Medal for his leadership in developing ISO 10303-203, a standard for representation and exchange of computer-aided designs. He is also a Balisage hyper-local, residing in the heart of Rockville, Maryland.

James David Mason
James David 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.

Emmanuelle Morlock
Emmanuelle Morlock has been working as an engineer in Digital Humanities at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) since 2008. Educated in French literature and Library and Information Science, she has specialized in the application of the encoding standard TEI EpiDoc, a version of the guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) that is dedicated to ancient documents. Emmanuelle manages several digitial scholarly editions projects within the History and Sources of the Ancient Worlds (HiSoMA) Research Center, and she is also involved in the French-speaking digital humanities association Humanistica as a member of the steering commitee and co-director of the digital open access journal Humanités numériques.

Ari Nordström
Ari Nordström is a Senior XML Specialist (fancy speak for “markup geek”) at Karnov Group, a Scandinavian legal publisher. He is based in Göteborg, Sweden, but has been known to provide angled brackets across a number of borders 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.

Leif-Jöran Olsson
Leif-Jöran Olsson has been employed since 2005 as a systems developer at Språkbanken, the Swedish Language bank, University of Gothenburg, where he develops research infrastructure for language technology, both nationally and within CLARIN ERIC. His project management experience involves both long-term partner projects (e.g., the Swedish Literary Bank, the Selma Lagerlöf Archive, the Swedish Drama web) and short-term domain-specific toolboxes (including training and use case analysis). He has extensive experience with teaching in language technology and programming. Leif-Jöran obtained his MA in Language Technology from Uppsala University in 2004, and he is one of the core developers of the open-source eXist-db native XML database.

Wendell Piez
A long-time contributor to Balisage and its predecessor conferences, since 2018 Wendell Piez has been serving as IT Specialist in the Information Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology (Gaithersburg Maryland). There he is putting his XML and XSLT skills to daily use.

Liam Quin
Liam Quin runs an information design company, Delightful Computing, and previously was XML Activity Lead at the World Wide Web Consortium; before that he was involved in the creation of XML itself and in SGML, most notably at SoftQuad Inc. in Toronto. His backgrounds are in digital typography and computer science.

Allen H. Renear
Allen Renear is the dean of the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include information organization and access, particularly the development of formal ontologies for cultural and scientific objects and the application of those ontologies in information system design, scholarly publishing, and data curation in the sciences and humanities.

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 STS Standing Committee. 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
Norm Walsh is a Principal Engineer at MarkLogic Corporation where he helps to develop APIs and tools for advanced content applications.

He has also been an active participant in international standards efforts at both the W3C and OASIS. At the W3C, Norm was chair of the XML Processing Model Working Group, co-chair of the XML Core Working Group, and an editor in the XQuery and XSLT Working Groups. He served for several years as an elected member of the Technical Architecture Group. At OASIS, he was chair of the DocBook Technical Committee for many years and is the author of DocBook: The Definitive Guide.

Norm has spent more than twenty years developing commercial and open source software.

Joseph Wicentowski
Joseph Wicentowski is a historian who specializes in the use of open standards to improve the accessibility and utility of scholarly editions. Since completing his Ph.D. in History at Harvard University in 2007, he has spearheaded a project to convert a major diplomatic documentary edition to TEI, leveraging the XML family of technologies to enable editors, researchers, and the public to access texts online in multiple open formats. Wicentowski has led workshops on the XQuery language and the eXist-db open source native XML database at TEI@Oxford Summer School in 2010-11 and Digital Humanities 2017, serves as a community liaison for the eXist-db community, and is co-author of a forthcoming book on XQuery for digital humanists in the Coding for Humanists series from Texas A&M University Press.

Sam Wilmott
Sam Wilmott designed his first programming language in the winter of 1967-1968 and was using early non-standardized markup languages in the late ’60s. Since then he has led the development of typesetting/text-formatting systems for the Canadian Government Printing Office (in the ’70s) and for a major real-estate company (in the ’80s), implemented one of the first SGML parsers (which was also the first pull-model markup parser), and is the originator of the OmniMark programming language (in the early ’90s), with its strong support of SGML, XML, and text transformation.

After leaving OmniMark, Sam worked in the XSLT world: he contributed to the implementation of an XSLT compiler and worked as an XSLT programmer and analyst (in the early 2000s). Currently he is largely retired, happily married, does voluntary work locally and walks a little dog every day, but in spite of his advancing age, he is nonetheless working on new programming language ideas for markup language and text processing.