Balisage 2020 Participant Biographies

Patrick Andries
Patrick Andries is a senior consultant with Xcential Legislative Technologies. He is the chief architect, designer, and developer of Xcential’s software to convert legacy typesetting data to XML, as well as one of Xcential’s main developers of systems to publish XML documents and edit Legislative XML documents. He has vast experience in multilingual software, internationalization and Unicode support. He is a long-standing member of the Unicode consortium.

Elisa E. Beshero-Bondar
Elisa Beshero-Bondar is a member of the TEI Technical Council, as well as Professor of Digital Humanities and Program Chair of Digital Media, Arts, and Technology at Penn State Erie, the Behrend College. Until June 2020, she was a professor of English Literature and Director of the Center for the Digital Text at Pitt-Greensburg which has featured a markup languages as a foundation of a curriculum in Digital Studies. Her projects investigate complex texts such as epics, plays, and multi-volume voyage logs, and involve her in experimentations with the TEI, including refining methods for computer-assisted collation of editions and probing questions of interoperability to reconcile diplomatic and critical edition encodings. She is the founder and organizer of the Digital Mitford project and its usually annual coding school. Her ongoing adventures with markup technologies are documented on her development site at

David J. Birnbaum
David J. Birnbaum is Professor 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.

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.

Anne Brüggemann-Klein
Anne Brüggemann-Klein is a professor of computer science at Technische Universität München. She received her PhD in Mathematics from Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Münster and her Habilitation in Computer Science from Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. Her research interest is in document engineering. Earlier work, part of which is cited in the W3C XML Recommendation, focuses on the formal language theory foundation of document languages. Current research explores to what extent novel publishing applications can be composed from appropriately configured XML software with a minimum of programming. The goal is to discover principles, patterns and procedures that reduce complexity and ensure sustainability when developing and maintaining Web applications.

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.

Steven DeRose
Steve DeRose works mainly in document engineering, NLP, and hypertext. 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 University, and written many papers and patents, and two books. He is presently Head of Linguistics at Docugami, a Seattle-based startup solving business document problems using AI.

Peter Flynn
Peter Flynn managed the Academic and Collaborative Technologies Group in IT Services at University College Cork, Ireland until his retirement in 2018. He trained at the London College of Printing and did his MA in computerized planning at Central London Poly (now the University of Westminster). He worked in the UK for the Printing and Publishing Industry Training Board as a DP Manager and for United Information Services of Kansas as IT consultant before joining UCC as Project Manager for academic and research computing. In 1990 he installed Ireland’s first Web server and now concentrates on academic and research publishing support. He has been Secretary of the TeX Users Group, Deputy Director for Ireland of EARN, and a member both of the IETF Working Group on HTML and of the W3C XML SIG; and he has published books on HTML, SGML/XML, and LaTeX. Peter also runs the markup and typesetting consultancy Silmaril, and is editor of the XML FAQ as well as an irregular contributor to conferences and journals in electronic publishing, markup, and Humanities computing, and a regular speaker and session chair at the XML SummerSchool in Oxford. He completed a late-life PhD in User Interfaces to Structured Documents with the Human Factors Research Group in Applied Psychology in UCC. He maintains a fairly random semi-technical blog at

Amanda Galtman
Amanda Galtman develops XML-based tools for authoring and publishing MathWorks software documentation.

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.

Mary Holstege
Mary Holstege spent decades developing software in Silicon Valley, in and around markup technologies and information extraction. She has most recently been pursuing artistic endeavours. She holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Computer Science, for a thesis on document representation.

Claus Huitfeldt
Claus Huitfeldt is Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Bergen, Norway. He was founding Director (1990-2000) of the Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen, for which he developed the text encoding system MECS as well as the editorial methods for the publication of Wittgenstein’s Nachlass - The Bergen Electronic Edition (Oxford University Press, 2000).

Joel Kalvesmaki
Founder and director of the Text Alignment Network (TAN), Joel Kalvesmaki is an XML developer for the Government Publishing Office and a scholar in early Christian studies. Those two worlds intersect in TAN and the Guide to Evagrius Ponticus, an authoritative online reference work on the fourth-century monk-theologian.

Joshua Lubell
Joshua Lubell is a computer scientist whose work focuses on smart manufacturing systems cybersecurity. His XForms-based Baseline Tailor software tool for security control selection won a Government Computer News ‘Dig IT’ award. Prior to his work in cybersecurity, he contributed to the development of ISO 10303, a standard for representation and exchange of computer-aided designs and other product model data, for which he received the United States Department of Commerce Silver Medal. He is also a Balisage hyper-local, residing in the heart of Rockville, Maryland.

Ari Nordström
Ari Nordström is an independent markup geek based in Göteborg, Sweden. He has provided angled brackets to many organisations and companies 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.

Steven Pemberton
Steven Pemberton is a researcher affiliated with CWI. His research is in interaction, and how the underlying software architecture can support users.

He co-designed the ABC programming language that formed the basis for Python and was one of the first handful of people on the open internet in Europe, when the CWI set it up in 1988. Involved with the Web from the beginning, he organised two workshops at the first Web Conference in 1994. For the best part of a decade he chaired the W3C HTML working group, and has co-authored many web standards, including HTML, XHTML, CSS, XForms and RDFa. He now chairs the W3C XForms group. More details at

Wendell Piez
Wendell Piez has been a markup advocate, systems developer and Balisage presenter since early days.

C. Edward Porter
C. Edward Porter is an XSL Software Developer in the Documentation Engineering Group at SAS in Cary, NC. His background is in publishing, technical communication, and information management. When not knee deep in code, he rides bikes—a lot.

Liam Quin
Liam Quin runs an information design and XML consulting 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.

Madeleine Rothberg
Madeleine Rothberg is a Senior Subject Matter Expert at the National Center for Accessible Media at WGBH. She focuses on providing access to multimedia and information technology both through directly accessible solutions such as captions, talking software, and audio description, and through improvements to infrastructure such as interoperability standards. Madeleine is active in EPUB accessibility, co-chaired the IMS Global Accessibility Working Group, and contributed to the accessibility metadata effort for Personal health records, digital libraries, assessment questions, STEM textbooks -- we can improve them all with accessibility and usability.

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.

Bethan Tovey-Walsh
Bethan Tovey-Walsh is a PhD student in linguistics, studying the language-mixing behaviour of Welsh-English bilinguals, and is working on a part-of-speech tagger for mixed Welsh-English texts. She is particularly interested in the problem of automatic language recognition for individual words. She was formerly a content architect at Oxford University Press. Even more formerly, she worked for the Oxford English Dictionary, specialising in medieval English.

Norman Tovey-Walsh
Norm Tovey-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.

B. Tommie Usdin
B. Tommie Usdin is President of Mulberry Technologies, Inc., a consultancy specializing in XML for textual documents. 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 BITS Working Group and the NISO STS Standing Committee. You can read more about her at

Lauren Wood
Lauren Wood is the principal consultant at Textuality Services Inc, with Xcential Legislative Technologies as a major client. Her projects in legislative documents for Xcential focus on document analysis, modelling, and XSLT transformations. She is also managing editor of and the course director at the XML Summer School. Lauren has a long history in standards committees for both OASIS and W3C, worked in healthcare standards for Lantana Consulting Group, and was part of the privacy and identity standards group at Sun Microsystems.