Michel Biezunski

Michel Biezunski is an internationally recognized expert in the field of information management. He has invented and promoted new ways of finding information, accelerating access to information which is really needed, and helping organize vast corpora of information assets. His working experience covers various domains, including the publishing, finance, healthcare, and media industries, and governmental agencies.

Michel's focus is in the area of semantic integration, auditable information systems, XML/SGML Applications, navigation models within complex information sets, and hyperlink-based models. He participated in the development of the HyTime standard, and is recognized as one of the inventors of the Topic Maps standards. He has written many articles and developed and conducted numerous workshops centered on these new technologies. Michel is now working on innovative solutions for auditability and integration of information systems.

Michel's consulting work consists of strategic consulting, as well as helping information owners to enhance their information systems by adding semantic navigation for facilitating access to the items of interest. Michel has developed technologies used in several applications.

Consulting

Group motivation for in-house strategic vision development and project implementations. My specialty is to build consensus among groups that have an interest in realizing projects, or to build a common understanding of a vision for the future. I have worked for the publishing, finance, aerospace, and healthcare industries, and for government agencies. I have helped customers figure out where to go by designing and building working prototypes for their information systems.

Standards Design

I have been involved for more than 10 years in the process of developing international standards. I have contributed to the invention and implemention of the Topic Maps standards. I started in 1990 by becoming the head of the French Delegation at ISO, became involved in the Davenport group between 1992 and 1993, then a member of the Conventions for the Application of HyTime (1993-1995). In 1996, I became an editor of the ISO/IEC 13250:2000 Topic Maps standard. I advocated an XML version of Topic Maps, XTM, and co-chaired its development from January 2000 until the first version was released in December 2000. I am still actively involved, as co-editor, in the efforts of ISO to extend the scope of the Topic Maps standard, and am also advocating a convergence of topic maps with the W3C's RDF recommendation.

I am interested in bringing user requirements into the standard process, and in reporting feedback on current progress to the customers that I represent and who want to stay on the leading edge of these emerging technologies.

Topic Maps Design and Implementation

Using a technology that I designed and created, I can help develop enriched web sites or CD-ROMs, by using any and all information already present, such as structural markup, index bookmarks, database field semantics, or whatever markers exist that can be exploited. The system I have created can be used to create web sites, or CDs, with improved navigation facilities among a potentially vast corpora of information objects.

Research Projects

I have been involved in research projects aimed at defining new avenues for information management. One of these projects was to define an electronic library for EDF (Electricité de France) (1993-1995) by connecting various pieces of information in a vast industry-based research center. I am a member of the committee which defines the funding strategy for the Semantic Web-related research projects, co-organized by the National Science Foundation and the European Commission, as well as a member of the advisory board for a research project at Oregon Graduate Institute: "Harvesting Information to Sustain Our Forests". I am also member of the board of editors for Markup Languages, a journal published by MIT Press.

Conferences and Presentations

I have given a number of tutorials, workshops, and presentations at various conferences world-wide. These conferences and symposia include but are not limited to: Universal Access Collaboration Workshop, Information Economy MetaLanguage International Symposium, Library of Congress Luminary Lectures, New York XML User Group, IDEAlliance (Formerly GCA) XML conferences, the Semantic Web Working Symposium, the Semantic Web strategic workshop, the GUEST series at Goddard Center at Nasa, University of California at Berkeley, XML-France. I am a member of the board for the Knowledge Technologies Conference (IDEAlliance, Seattle, March 2002) as well as for the Semantic Web Workshop (Sardinia, June 2002).  See list of presentations

Programming Skills

Although not a professional programmer, I know how to manipulate structured information and transform it into something else.

I design XML architectures, using XML SchemaRelax-NG and DTDs.

The programming languages I am working with are mostly Python and XSLT. I use various flavors of HTML and CSS, and am getting into Javascript and especially jQuery. I am using Bootstrap for the web sites I am currently working on.

I deploy web sites using the Django framework. I have a working experience of Mezzanine, a content management system built on top of Django.

I can contribute to the design and development of XML-based applications.

In the past, I also developed applications using Adobe's Frame Development Toolkit (FDK) and the Wordperfect Macro Language.

Building Communities

I was the founder and president of the SGML Users' Group in France in 1992, and led that group for the next 5 years. I try to put together various communities who share interests, and am interested in contributing in the creation of new markets, such as the one opened by the Topic Maps standards. That market groups people coming from Knowledge Management, Structured Markup, and the Web. I have moderated the topicmapmail mailing list, a general interest list on topic maps, open until 2013.

Teaching Experience

The subjects I have taught include: Topic Maps, HyTime, XML, SGML, Adobe's FDK, and (a long time ago) the WordPerfect macro language, plus general introductions to information management.

Employment History

  • (April 2005 - ) Independent Consultant based in New York, doing business as Infoloom.
  • Consultant with Coolheads Consulting (Oct. 2001-March 2005)
  • Founder and consultant with Infoloom, Inc. (2000 - 2001)
  • Independent Consultant (1997-2000)
  • Founder and consultant with High Text (1993-1997)
  • Professor at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne à Sévenans (France), founder of a curriculum on electronic publishing for engineers (1989-1992)
  • Member of a research team devoted to the publication of Einstein's work (1986-1989)
  • Freelance worker in the publishing industry: book and scientific press (Translations, Authoring Book, Reviews, Authoring articles) (1981-1986)
  • Researcher in science education: history and philosophy of science (1979-1981)
  • Project manager of science textbooks for Hachette (1977-1979)
  • Physics teacher in high schools (1974-1977)
Education
  • Ph.D, Physics, 1981, Université Paris VII. Dissertation title: The Reception of Einstein's Theory of Relativity in France
  • Master Degree, City Planning, Université Paris VIII, 1975

Background

Prior to work as a consultant in Information Technologies, Michel has been doing research in history and philosophy of science, and more specifically on early twentieth century physics. He has studied resistance to innovation, and the influence of various factors on the reception of the theory of relativity.

Before moving to the U.S. in 2001, Michel lived in France and he published a number of articles and books in French.

Publications