Bill PictureMy research area is "ubiquitous information" and for the last 17 years (!) I have worked at the intersection of HCI, information retrieval, and ubiquitous computing.

Some of my accomplishments in ubiquitous computing are the PARCTab, XLibris, and PlaceLab initiative. Between 1992-1995 I developed one of the first system infrastructures for location-aware mobile computers and developed many context-aware applications with colleagues at Xerox PARC.

I joined Google Research in November 2006.

I spent 4 years with Intel Research starting that "work-life" experience as Co-Director of the Seattle Lab. I also directed Intel's research in Ubiquitous Computing and was principal investigator (PI) in Intel's Digital Home Group. Prior to joining Intel I was manager of the Personal and Mobile Computing Group at FX Palo Alto Laboratory, a Member of Technical Staff at AT&T's Bell Labs, and part of the team that developed Ubiquitous Computing at PARC.

I am a graduate of the Putney School (high school, class of 1977) a "progressive" school on a working farm where I learned that there are few things in life as bad as A.M. barn (waking at 5:30 AM to "muck out" the cow barn). I attended Columbia College, receiving a liberal arts degree, spent a number of years in the computer industry, and then went back to graduate school at Columbia University. In 1995 I received a Ph.D. (aka Piled Higher and Deeper) for studies in location and context-aware mobile computing. (My thesis defense was not as bad as A.M. barn). The research for my dissertation was carried out at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, where I was an intern and visiting scientist between 1990-1995.

Bill Schilit
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  • 9/10/2008   Tech Talk by Bill Schilit (6:00pm to 7:30pm) UC Berkeley, in HP Pavilion,
    Soda Hall - Navigating the network of knowledge: mining quotations from
    massive-scale digital libraries of books

    Abstract:  Scanning books, magazines, and newspapers is widespread because
    people believe a great deal of the world's information still resides
    off-line. In general after works are scanned they are indexed for search and
    processed to add links. In this talk I will describe a new approach to
    automatically add links by mining repeated passages. This technique connects
    elements that are semantically rich, so strong relations are made. Moreover,
    link targets point within rather than to the entire work, facilitating
    navigation. Our system has been run on a digital library of over 1 million
    books (Google Book Search), has been used by thousands of people, and has
    generated the world's largest collection of quotations. I will also present
    a follow-on project based on the theory that authors copy passages from book
    to book because these quotations capture an idea particularly well:
    Jefferson on liberty; Stanton on women's rights; and Gibson on cyberpunk.
    These projects suggest that mining quotations for links and ideas is an
    important mechanism for understanding the knowledge contained in books.
    (This work is in collaboration with Okan Kolak, Google Research and Google
    Book Search.) 

    Bio:  Bill Schilit is part of the Google research team and an adopted
    member of the Book Search group. Before joining Google, Bill was co-director
    of the Intel Research lab in Seattle, managed digital library and mobile
    computing research at Fuji-Xerox (FXPAL), worked on distributed computing at
    AT&T's Bell Labs, and was part of the team that developed Ubiquitous
    Computing at PARC. He is Associate Editor-in-Chief of Computer Magazine and
    a past member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Computer Society. Bill
    received a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1995.
  • Slides for my Tutorial on Context-Aware Communication, presented at Pervasive 2002 available in pdf and ppt

Recent Professional Service

  • Associate Editor-in-Chief, Computer Magazine, 2003-present
  • Member, Computer Society Publications Board, 2004-2006
  • Chair, Computer Society Magazine Operations Committee, 2004-2006
  • Board of Governors of the IEEE Computer Society, 2004-2006
  • Member, Steering Committee for Pervasive Magazine, 2005-2006
  • Member, Computer Society Audit Committee, 2004-2005
  • Program Chair, WMASH '04: Proceedings of the 2nd ACM international workshop on Wireless mobile applications and services on WLAN hotspots, 2004.
  • Editorial Board, Computer Magazine, 1999-present
  • Technical Editor, IEEE Personal Communications (The Magazine of Nomadic Communications and Computing), IEEE Communications Society.
  • Program Committee , WWW 2003-2006
  • Program Committee Mobiquitous 2004, August 2004
  • Program Committee WMCSA 2004, December 2004.
  • Program Co-Chair WMASH 2004, October 2004,
  • Program Committee, ICDCS 2003, May 2003.
  • Program Committee, Ubicomp 2002, September 2002.
  • Program Committee, Pervasive 2002, August 2002.
  • Program Committee, WMCSA 2002 - 4th IEEE Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications, June 2002.
  • Proceedings Chair, UIST 2000 - 12th annual symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, November 5-8 2000, San Diego, CA.
  • Program Committee, Workshop on Software Engineering for Wearable and Pervasive Computing, June 5-6 2000, Limerick, Ireland.
  • Program Committee, ISWC - International Symposium on Wearable Computers, October 16-18, 2000, Atlanta, GA.

Selected Publications:

Colleagues: Jon Rokne